JoongAng Daily talks about whether a ferry filled with primarily adults would have had better survival rates:
“‘Those who did not follow the announcement and came out lived, and those who listened to it are missing,’ said a 42-year-old mother of a child who is in middle school. ‘When I discuss this with other parents from our school, we say that maybe we should tell the kids not to trust strangers or teachers anymore.’
‘How can kids trust grown-ups when they hear that the captain and crew of the Sewol ran away after telling the kids to stay put?’ said another 32-year-old mother of an elementary school student. ‘I’m not certain whether I should teach my child to listen to adults in an emergency – or to just run away as fast as he can.’”
In a country where the authority of teachers and captains, and adults over children in general, plays such a strong role in daily life, these are genuinely difficult questions to grapple with.