Both school bullies, but Park Yeon Jin was condemned while Gu Jun Pyo was loved? 

“Boys Over Flowers” Gu Jun Pyo was also a perpetrator of school violence, but “The Glory” Park Yeon Jin was the only one criticized.

Content dealing with school violence, such as Netflix’s “The Glory” and Wave’s “Weak Hero Class 1“, are gaining popularity.

In particular, the drama “The Glory”, which depicts the story of a school violence victim devoting her whole life to revenge, became a sensation, drawing huge attention to the topic of school violence. In fact, it has been a month since the release of “The Glory” season 1, but the drama is still highly-discussed. 

Viewers were deeply immersed in the heartbreaking story of Moon Dong Eun (played by Song Hye Kyo), and hoped for Park Yeon Jin (played by Lim Ji Yeon), the main bully, to suffer and pay for her actions. 

However, a question suddenly arises, “Why is the public particularly angry with Park Yeon Jin?”

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Scenes of school violence have long been exposed to the public. Even when school violence is not the main topic, it is often included in K-dramas with school settings. 

In the KBS2 drama “Boys Over Flowers”, which received a lot of love 14 years ago, the school violence scenes took up a lot of screen time. Even more notable, the perpetrator was the male lead of the show. 

“Boys Over Flowers” depicts the love story between Geum Jan Di (played by Koo Hye Sun), the daughter of a laundromat who ends up attending a private high school, and Gu Jun Pyo (played by Lee Min Ho), a rich young master, who maliciously harasses “commoner” Geum Jan Di.

Boys Over Flowers

Particularly, Gu Jun Pyo had his classmates throw raw eggs at Geum Jan Di and sprinkle flour on her, while he and his friends sat on a couch, watching her suffer as if watching an entertainment show. What Gu Jun Pyo did to Geum Jan Di is clearly school violence.

He was the main perpetrator, while the F4 (Gu Jun Pyo’s group of friends) were bystanders. Nevertheless, F4 members were hailed and envied, with Gu Jun Pyo developing a loving relationship with his victim, Geum Jan Di. 

The story of “Boys Over Flowers” simply wouldn’t stand in the current age. 

For instance, if Moon Dong Eun (played by Song Hye Kyo) and Jeon Jae Jun (played by Park Sung Hoon) became lovers in “The Glory”, the series will be criticized as “a drama that glorifies school violence” and causing “secondary harm to victims of school violence”.

Now, school violence scenes are no longer taken lightly. There have been various changes in the approach towards this topic in the 14-year time frame between “Boys Over Flowers” and “The Glory”. 

Changed attitude toward school violence

Gangsters and perpetrators of school violence, which were portrayed beautifully in past dramas and movies, are now painted as “criminals”. Stories no longer sympathize with them or show their side, and they must pay the price instead of being the main character, leaving little ground for envy. 

As school violence began to be dealt with seriously, various contents containing in-depth perspectives were created. Stories about the perpetrator’s parents, stories of the students left behind, and the stories of the victims living in hell day by day due to the aftereffects of school violence, are being brought to light.

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Public awareness has also become more sensitive

According to the results of the “2022 Education Opinion Survey”, which was announced by the Korea Educational Development Institute on January 17th, 6 out of 10 citizens think that school violence in elementary, middle and high schools is serious.

55.0% of the people answered that the current situation of school violence is serious, and 59.1% of the respondents said that strict punishment is needed for perpetrators.

“School violence” has long since emerged as a serious social problem. In a poll conducted in 2019, 55.7% of the public answered that the level of school violence was concerning.

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Victims of school violence will continue to appear as protagonists in movies and dramas, building consensus and gaining awareness from the public.

As long as the public began to sympathize with the victims’ stories, the prospects for accurate school violence content are bright.

“The Glory” is not over yet, and the public wants perpetrators of school violence to suffer more. Their wish is expected to be granted in Season 2 of “The Glory”, which will be released on March 10th.

Source: Daum

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