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Thai university expels hazing students, father of dead victim rejects financial compensation

Tim Newton

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15 senior Thai university students, involved in the violent and fatal hazing (bullying) of a freshman on March 13, have been dismissed from the Rajamangala University of Technology Isaan, Thailand. The ritual involved a total of 30 2nd year students and 37 freshmen, and resulted in the death of 19 year old Padyos “Prem” Chonpakdi.

10 other students, involved directly with the fatal ritual, will have their exam results for the past semester invalidated.

The university had resolved to dismiss 15 of the 2nd year students for co-ordinating the hazing, plying Padyos with alcohol which he was forced to drink, and then beating him until he became unconscious.

Padyos was lured to a football field after being told that they were all going to play football.

The young man died on the way to the hospital.

10 other senior students also helped organise the event, forcing 1st year students to remove their clothes, crawl along the ground, head first, leading to a string of minor injuries.

The University also imposed a range of ‘disciplinary points’ to 42 of the other student for being involved and, despite knowing of the event beforehand, didn’t do anything to stop it going ahead. Students will still be allowed to lodge an appeal within 15 days.

The dismissal of the 15 2nd year students results in their permanent expulsion from the university.

The University’s actions have no impact on any future criminal proceedings that may be brought against the perpetrators, all over the age of 18 when they committed the crime.

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They could face a range of civil and criminal charges ranging from assault causing to death to manslaughter, which carries a potential prison term.

32 students are facing various civil or criminal charges arising from the incident.

7 were charged last Tuesday with “colluding in physical assault causing death” and “assault causing physical and mental harm”.

55 year old Ekachai Chonpakdi, the father of Padyos, has already rejected a 400,000 baht offer from the University’s alumni, or an additional 500,000 from the families of the 7 ring leaders, stating that he intends to take the matter to court.

In another effort of compensation, the University says they would provide scholarships for Padyos’s girlfriend Phimphan, who is 2 months pregnant, and for the dead student’s younger sister, who is now in Grade 4. The scholarships would provide access to University education allowing them to them to complete bachelor’s degrees.

Padyos Chonpakdi was cremated at Wat Noi in Nakhon Ratchasima last Monday.

Every year there are deaths of Thai police and army recruits, and freshman at Thai universities where a culture of hazing and systemic bullying remains an enormous cultural challenge for Thailand.

More highly public examples of fatal hazing…

15 year old Thai student dies following attack in SOTUS hazing tradition

Another Army death raises questions over Military handling of hazing

New survey shows Thai kids are subject to excessive levels of bullying

Wai Khru – setting a bad example for the future. Thailand’s demand for respect from its young

Thailand: Hazing rituals in universities foster authoritarianism

Chiang Mai Police forced into investigating hazing incident at University

Family demands investigation after conscript found dead at army base

 

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    Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand. As founder of The Thaiger in 2016, Tim is the current English Content Manager for the company, based in their Bangkok HQ.

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