Is bullying in Korea really as severe as in the movies?
It is worse than in the movies.
The ‘movies' you're referring to are probably like this.
Class fights, losers, etc. The typical scene of a bullying, right? But it's far from reality. It's more like bullying as it was 20 years ago. Most bullies nowadays are not foolish enough to pull a fight in a classroom, only to risk detention and possibly being forced to leave the school.
After a certain middle school student's death in 2011, several laws were created to put a lid on the country's long-lasting bullying problem. But that didn't stop the bullies. The correct choice of the victim allowed the bullies to avoid being exposed while arguably being more of a torture to the victim. Students from poor families, students who are physically handicapped, and it gets worse if the victim is suffering from mental disorders such as autism.
This is an article written by a Korean man who served in a prison for teens.
According to the article, some students from high school were accused of having an orgy with 2 mentally handicapped girls. The victims were beaten, burned with hot water and raped daily for a month until the discovery. A teen stole a bus and hit an elderly man in his 70's, and proceeded to run him over with the heavy vehicle until the man's dead body was squashed flat. Another high school student attacked the ‘class loser' with a crow bar and caused permanent damage to his legs, after the ‘loser' reported his long suffering to the teacher.
Did they ever regret what they did?
The kid who stole the bus managed to land himself in a fight shortly after imprisonment and nearly killed the person he was fighting with, and the crow bar attacker hit a doctor and broke his teeth. again, after imprisonment.
Just imagine being bullied by these a**holes.
And if the a**holes come from wealthy families they might get away with what they did and receive ZERO punishment through bribing the teachers. Schools hate dealing with underage criminals mainly due to the difficulties of punishment. The teaching staff would gladly accept the ‘gifts' from the bullies' parents and gently ‘remove' the VICTIM from the school.
The movies are nothing.