The School of Performing Arts Seoul (SOPA), the alma mater of numerous well-known K-drama and K-pop stars, is facing controversy after its former students accused the school of corruption and sexual exploitation of minors.
Known as 서공예 in South Korea, the special-purpose high school primarily trains its students to become performers.
However, some former students came forward with alleged injustices that the students faced and created a well-crafted performance video.
The clip, which is now being widely shared on social media, is aimed to highlight the plight of these students who seek a fair education.
Based on the allegations, many scantily-clad students have been forced to perform “sexy” shows for individuals during the principal’s “private parties.” The students were also forced to engage in acts of physical intimacy with other individuals, including soldiers.
During the video performance, the students accused the school of:
“The crime of forcing students to participate in out of school performances without giving them an option.
The crime of disadvantaging or discriminating students who refused to perform on stage.
The crime of demanding students to perform choreographies unrelated to their major.
The crime of not informing the students the purposes and the earnings from the performances.
The crime of asking students for “sexiness” and “inappropriate touches” during performances.
The crime of announcing the performance schedule the day before, forcing the students to practice overnight.
The crime of making the students pay for expenses of the performance with their own personal money.
The crime of calling the student council president to the principal’s office, thereby attempting to appease him.
The crime of banning students from talking about the performances that they have attended.
The crime of forcibly holding a School Discipline Committee hearing on innocent students who have written about the school on Facebook.
The crime of threatening the student whistle-blowers through direct phone calls.
The crime of publishing a false explanatory letter claiming that “most news reports are exaggerated and spreading fake news” and thereby spreading lies and deceiving the students.
The crime of burdening students by requiring them to pay for their own flight tickets for a performance in Japan whilst having received ten million won ($9000) of financial support from the host.”
The students further noted that they were threatened by principal and others of getting sued for libel after they initially tried to reveal these incidents through social media.
As the video goes viral on social media, reaching nearly three million views on YouTube alone, news platforms in South Korea have reportedly begun picking up the story.
However, interview requests from the local press have so far been refused by the principal and his wife who are accused as the chief perpetrators, AllKPop reports.
While the students are bravely risking legal ramifications and potentially damaging their future careers with their exposé, evidence for such claims has yet to be shown or forwarded to the authorities.
Featured image via YouTube / 영화전공8기