"We failed to prevent the worst ferry disaster, protect students’ safety and happiness, and provide decent education that can help them speak up for themselves," declared 15,852 members of the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTEWU).
While expressing sorrow, the KTEWU members prompted the government to fix structural problems behind the sinking of the ferry. They regretted saying "We did not teach students to be proactive nor ask questions when something is doubtful. Nor did we tell them to stand up against unfair system. We only forced them to memorize and study in a mechanical way to get a high score. We can’t look students right in the eye, especially those who were killed during the recent tragedy."
They harshly criticized the government for shifting responsibility away from itself and onto others. "We want to ask President Park. What were you doing when passengers were fighting against the horrors of death inside the sinking ferry? All you did was reprimand other public officials!"
Furthermore, they pointed out "The government missed out on the golden time for the search, exposing its incompetence to the world. We know that the president is not an omnipotent magician. We just want her to do her best and truly understand the pain the families have to go through due to the loss of their children."
They also pulled together to change the educational system. The statement read "We are not scared of change. We will look back on ourselves and bring about fundamental change to our society and educational system. We will never forget the agony of victims and their families."