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Teacher suspended for sexual abuse at Nakhon Pathom school

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PHOTO: Matthayom Than Bin Kamphaeng Saen School in Nakhom Pathom - File photo

A teacher in Nakhon Pathom province just west of Bangkok, identified by students as a serial sexual predator, has been suspended an education official said yesterday.

The teacher at Matthayom Than Bin Kamphaeng Saen School, whose name was not supplied, was transferred to an inactive post and placed under investigation, according to secretary-general of the Office of Basic Education Commission, Amnat Wichayanuwat. The move came after students at the school aired their complaints on social media.

“I have been informed of the incident. I ordered a local office to remove him from active duty and set up an investigation committee. This a serious offense. If found guilty, he will be fired and we will take legal and disciplinary action against him.”

Details of the teacher’s alleged abuse emerged after students’ rights groups Education for Liberation of Siam posted a photo showing the teacher embracing a male student inside a classroom. It read:

“A Nakhon Pathom teacher asked students to masturbate and endure molestation in exchange for their grades. He would ask students to come into a locked classroom one by one. One of the abused students said he didn’t want to see the teacher, but he also didn’t want to get an F.”

The group added that the man had been abusing male students for some time: screen captures posted by the group showed he also posted pick up lines on students’ Facebook pages.

It is unclear how long the abuse took place, or how many students were abused. The school’s director Supranee Yhulerk said she could not disclose details as the investigation is  ongoing.

“We are not hiding the truth, but it’s a matter of protocol. The school is doing our best to protect the students.”

Sexual assault in educational institutions is not uncommon in Thailand. Last year, 17% of the participants in a survey of over a thousand Thais said they have experienced sexual harassment in school.

In 2016, a teacher was suspended for posting videos of him having sex with students on his Twitter account, but he reportedly returned to teaching two years after being exposed.

Matthayom Than Bin Kamphaeng Saen School is a public school located inside an air force base in Nakhon Pathom province. It is attended by about 2,500 students.

 

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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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