The number of elementary schoolchildren who committed sex crimes has exploded in the past four years.
According to the data from the Ministry of Education submitted to Democratic Party lawmaker Ahn Min-suk, 65 elementary schoolchildren were punished by their school for sexual harassment or assault last year, four times more than the 16 in 2010.
In the first half of this year alone, 68 children were already punished, well over last year's total. At this rate, the number is likely to exceed 100 this year.
This problem is growing among schoolkids of all ages. Sex crime figures in schools rose from 293 in 2010 to 739 last year. Some 505 students were punished for sexual assault in the first seven months of this year, 82 being transferred to another school and 16 expelled. The rest were given other penalties such as attending special classes, writing apologies, and changing classes.
Sex crimes were most common in middle schools with 309 out of this year's 505.