SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- The government and the ruling party agreed Wednesday to open a nationwide hotline for reporting school bullies to police as part of efforts to curb rising school violence and respond quickly to such violence, a ruling party lawmaker said.
The agreement was made during a meeting between high-level officials of the government and the ruling Grand National Party.
The "117" hotline will be available nationally 24 hours a day, Rep. Lee Ju-young, a top policymaker of the governing Grand National Party (GNP), told reporters.
The government will place counselors as well as police officers in 117 call centers, so bullied students can get any help necessary, Lee said.
A recent series of suicides by young students who had been bullied, including one by a middle-school student in Daegu, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, has triggered anxiety over rampant violence and peer hazing in the country.
"As we keep in mind the numbers '112' for reporting crimes and '119' for fire reports, we decided to make '117' the number people will think of when it comes to school violence," the lawmaker said.
Currently, the education ministry, the gender equality ministry and police run three different call centers, respectively, to receive reports from victims of school violence and other criminal behavior by fellow students, but no central easily remembered number.
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