Suicides among schoolchildren rose by nearly 50 percent in 2009 from the year before, exceeding 200. According to a report submitted to Grand National Party lawmaker Hwang Woo-yea by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology on Wednesday, 202 elementary, middle- and high-schoolers committed suicide last year, up 47 percent from 2008.
There were six elementary school students, 56 from middle school and 140 from high school. The number of students in primary and secondary schools who killed themselves has rose from 101 in 2004 to 137 in 2008.
Family conflict was the main reason, contributing to 34 percent of the cases. Depression and romantic relationship issues followed with 13 and six percent. "Because adolescent suicide is a result of various factors involving family, school and surrounding environment, we need to take special care and pay extra attention to youngsters at risk. We should seriously consider increasing the number of counselors in schools," Hwang said.