Queens tutoring school under investigation for child abuse

August 6, 2014

A tutoring school, or hagwon, in Queens is under fire for the alleged abuse of its students.

New York City’s Administration for Child Services launched an investigation into the case Monday. Local police are also known to be on the case.

The unnamed school allegedly verbally and physically abused the seven or eight students enrolled in its care, according to reports.

Two women at the school, also unnamed, were accused of throwing shoe boxes and binders at students’ faces and denying them food for doing wrong.

The accused school is a private homestay program for elementary and middle school students from Korea who come to study in schools around Flushing. It acts as the legal guardian of the international students.

“I was in pain after [the teacher] threw a shoe box onto my face in a striking motion,” said an unnamed student, 11, in an interview with The Korea Times. “She said I had done something wrong and wouldn’t let me eat dinner. The atmosphere was so scary that I couldn’t even ask to go to the bathroom during lessons.”

His mother, identified only as K, flew from Korea after hearing about the problem. She has also been running the homestay program for the school.

“I heard there was an incident in which [my son] peed in his pants in front of a fellow student because of the school’s bathroom use limit,” she said.

Another unnamed student, 11, said he had been hit by a binder thrown by a teacher and verbally abused after asking what time lessons ended.

The school denied allegations and said they were unfounded.

“None of the punishments or physical abuse that parents are accusing us of happened,” the director of the school said in a phone interview. “What we know is that [K], who has been in charge of our homestay program for students, started this incident out of monetary greed. Her goal is to set up an independent business for young international students.”

“When we were reported for child abuse at the end of July for the first time, police found no problems here,” the director said. “We’re currently preparing a lawsuit against [K].”

The school’s attorney, J.D. Kim, said the institution had been investigated by police last month.

“After hearing the explanation that the problem stemmed from a financial dispute with K, police took our side,” Kim said.


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