Teacher’s physical punishment causes bruises, outrage

PHOTO: An incident of a teacher's physical punishment going to far has gone viral in Thai media. (via 77Kaoded)

Parents in Samut Prakan reached out to Thai media to bring attention to an alleged incident of excessive physical punishment by a male teacher at a primary school. The incident, which occurred on Monday in the Bang Bo district, sparked outrage among parents and education authorities in the area.

An 11 year old boy in P5 recounted to reporters from 77kaoded that he was punished by a teacher called Boss who had instructed his group to sweep up litter and leaves. The boy stated that after they had finished, the three students were slacking off which enraged the teacher.

The teacher told the trio that he was going to cane them and demanded that the young students fetch a cane. Reporters later examined the weapon used by the teacher to punish students – a piece of wood 80 centimetres long wrapped in pink tape.

He told them to hurry and threatened to hit them with the cane one time for each second it took them to retrieve it. It took them 18 seconds to bring the cane to the teacher for punishment.

The boy said that the teacher decided to show some mercy and only hit them 13 times instead of the full 18 smacks.

The boy showed the reporters who visited his home the bruises, saying that this was not the first time teacher Boss had physically punished students. He was bruised and said it was painful to sit down after being hit 13 times on his behind.

Another of the three boys came to the house during the visit from reporters and corroborated the story, saying he and the third boy all received the same caning punishment from the teacher.

When reporters visited the school, the director declined to comment on the incident and played down the incident, suggesting he wanted to avoid it becoming a viral media spectacle.

However, they were able to speak to teacher Boss, who admitted to administering the punishment. He justified his actions by saying the boys had been stubborn and slow to follow his instructions.

The incident angered parents and prompted the local education authority to establish an investigative committee. Physical punishment like the caning teacher Boss gave was outlawed in Thailand in 2000, but many teachers still use it. Traditional parents are often indifferent to the use of physical punishment because they experienced it as a normal part of their childhood, growing up in the Thai school system.

Bangkok News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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