NoCut News brings us this report of quite a few people — mainly ESL teachers — being arrested for smoking marijuana, which is a serious offense under Korean law. If the accusations are true these idiots deserve whatever the law would have in store for them, but as you’re probably not surprised this report is way off base. It pretty much accuses most or all ESL teachers of smoking marijuana daily and of preying upon the innocent women of Korea.

Reports from other news sources have not been taking a different tone. This one is a typical example and comes from tonight’s In Depth 60 Minutes report on the same topic.

Foreign English teachers have been arrested for smoking marijuana before lessons and habitually using drugs in seedy areas.

The number of foreign English teachers who regularly use drugs is increasing.

One is a Canadian, “S” (24), who entered Korea intending to teach English in September 2004. S worked at an elementary school before being hired by an English hagwon in Gangnam, being paid W3,000,000 per month for six hours of classes per day.

Police say that since 2006 S has been using that money to procure Ghanian marijuana from drug dealer “A” (34) and regularly smoked it afterward.

Pothead English Teachers

Police claim that S would even smoke marijuana into the early morning and then go to school and teach the students. Police explained that not only S but most of the foreign English teachers arrested taught English by day and smoked marijuana by night.

A source at the foreign affairs division of the Seoul Police Department said, “American and Canadian English teachers think Korea is a ‘land of opportunity.’”

They become hagwon teachers not only because there is no country which has much desire to learn English as Korea but because they believe they can make up to 1,000,000 won per month through illegal private lessons.

The source also said, “the majority of them find it easy to seduce Korean women and do drugs with them.”

Foreign English teachers see Korea not only as a ‘land of opportunity’ but also as a ‘perverted heaven’.

The case of “R”, a 26-year old American who smoked marijuana with his Korean girlfriend, is a typical case.

R, while living with his girlfriend “H”, a worker in her 20s at a foreign bank, is accused of going to bars and clubs in Hongdae and Itaewon after classes and regularly smoking marijuana.

The police investigation concluded that they were all working in local universities, Gangnam, Seocho, Yangcheon, Bupyeong, or Gwangmyeong in regular hagwons and were all exposed as having committed the same crime.

The police emphasized that to prevent the entry of these kinds of foreign English teachers inquiries have already begun into criminal convictions for drug use.

Police also emphasized that, “they had satisfied the requirement to receive an E-2 foreign language visa of having a degree from a four-year institution and there was no problem with their degrees. In the cases of other English hagwons it appears there are no problems.”

The Seoul Police Department’s foreign affairs division has arrested six people for smoking marijuana, including S, and applied for arrest warrants for 16 others including H.

Update: A while ago SBS did a similar kind of broadcast and you can see some of the results in this post — SBS Looks at ESL Teachers. Also, please note that the translation has been corrected — the police said most of the these arrested teachers smoked pot at night, not most foreign teachers in general. I take responsibility for that error.


Pothead English Teachers
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