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Student representatives accuse teachers of bullying, call on Education Ministry to act

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

Student groups have met with officials at the Thai Education Ministry and submitted a letter urging the ministry to take action against teachers they accuse of intimidation. The students say they are being bullied for expressing their political views at school.

There’s been an outbreak of student involvement in the pro-democracy voices in the country. It has spread from the rallies at prominent public landmarks to the university campuses and school yards.

The Bangkok Post reports that the head of the Uncommon International Group, Narubet Rakwijit, along with Peeraphol Raweksom, head of the Associate of Students in Thailand, visited the Education Ministry yesterday with a written request to Education Minister, Nataphol Teepsuwan.

They say numerous students have complained of unfair treatment from teachers who disagree with their political views, with over 100 schools accused of threatening to cut scholarships and hand out lower test scores as punitive action for the students’ political statements.

The students are calling on the ministry to introduce measures that will protect students, with Narubet calling on the Education Minister to put a system in place that will allow all parties, including students, parents and teachers, to express their views freely. Students are also demanding that teachers and other education officials be penalised for hitting students who exercise their right to voice a political opinion.

For its part, the Education Ministry has given an undertaking to host a forum at the Royal City Hotel in Bangkok on September 17, where it will listen to the opinions put forward by representatives of the student population.

Yesterday, after Rajini School, a private girls’ school in Bangkok, banned political activities on school premises, former students submitted a petition of nearly 1,000 signatures in protest at the move. The school’s alumni insist no lese majeste (criticism of the Thai Monarchy) offences took place at the school, despite claims made by school officials. The group is calling on school executives to hold a proper investigation before making accusations.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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