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Education Ministry urged to tackle sexual abuse of students

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Peach State Realty

92 organisations have demanded the Education Ministry ramp up proactive measures to stamp out sexual abuse of schoolchildren, following recent scandals in 3 provinces. Representatives yesterday handed a letter to the education minister, urging him to take action. They also submitted a list of some 10,000 people who signed a petition via change.org supporting the call.

The manager of the Women’s Wellbeing and Gender Justice Program says schools should be safe havens for children, and called on the Education Ministry not to stand idly by letting children and their parents seek justice on their own.

She says the ministry, must step up and file lawsuits against offending teachers, offer legal help to victims’ families and provide victims with protection and counselling.

“If teachers or education personnel are found guilty of sex crimes, the ministry must dish out severe punishment by sacking them and revoking their teaching licences.”

She believes the ministry must also come up with aggressive measures to prevent such incidents in schools and set up independent mechanisms employing experts to handle complaints. According to her, school directors and teachers must have guidelines on protecting children’s rights and gender equality.

After formally receiving the letter, the minister said he has set up a centre to help victims and protect other schoolchildren from further abuse. He said the network’s proposals will be used when drawing up future preventive measures.

“Rest assured. The Education Ministry will not let wrongdoers remain in education circles and ruin the reputation of other teachers and schools.” he said.

Early this month, police charged 7 men – 5 teachers and 2 alumni of a school in Mukdahan province – with gang-raping a 14 year old student over course of a year. 3 of the teachers were also charged with the rape of a 16 year old student.

Also this month, a 39 year old teacher in Buri Ram was accused of molesting a 12 year old girl. Last month, a primary school director in Phetchabun was charged with abusing a student in a video that went viral.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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