A NEW service where parents pay for 'uncles' to come to the rescue of their bullied children at school is proving a hit in Korea.
Parents can choose from three distinct packages that include the 'Uncle Package', the 'Evidence Package', and the 'Chaperone Package'.
Anyone opting for the original 'Uncle Package' can look forward to a service whereby a large, rather intimidating man in his 30s or 40s will turn up at school pretending to be the stricken student's uncle.
Said 'uncle' will then dish out a stern warning to the designated bully or bullies before accompanying their client's child back to class.
There's also the 'Evidence Package' which sees the newly-hired 'uncle' obtain evidence of the bullying on a series of mini cameras.
The footage is then taken to the school along with a demand that the incident be properly investigated by the relevant authorities.
Last but not least there's the 'Chaperone Package', possibly the most controversial of the three, which sees the 'uncle' visit the workplaces of the bully's parents.
Once there, the 'uncle' embarks on a one-man protest outside their workplace, designed to heap shame on the parents of the bully in question.
The 'Evidence Package' represents the cheapest of the three, priced at around £270 while the original 'Uncle Package' will set you back around £340.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the 'Chaperone Package' will set you back the most, with the service including four workplace visits and priced at a whopping £1,350.
The service has courted controversy in Korea, with some branding it as just another form of intimidation i.e. fighting bullying with more bullying.
"Private sanction is just another form of violence. School violence needs to be resolved by improving the system," Professor Kim Yoon Tae of Korea University told Chosen Ilbo.
Unlikely to arrive in Europe anytime soon, if you know of or suspect anyone might be being bullied at school, get in touch with a teacher rather than a strange agency offering to send middle-aged men to deal with the situation.