School director transferred after student’s criticism of lunch quality sparks protest

A recent student protest has led to the imminent transfer of a school director in the Mae La Noi district, Mae Hong Son. The unrest was sparked when the director, Sineenat Rodkrue, complained to the local police about a student who had criticised the quality of school lunches on social media.

The controversy unfolded on yesterday, January 12, at Rat Prachanukhro 21 School, where students assembled at 8.30am to prevent Rodkrue from entering the premises. On the previous day, she had filed a complaint with Mae La Noi police, accusing the student of violating the Computer Crimes Act.

The student’s contentious post was shared on the Watchdog. Act’s Facebook page, included a photograph highlighting the poor quality of the school lunch – a simple meal of rice, a boiled egg and chilli paste. The post quickly caught the attention of Thai social media users who began questioning the irregularities in school lunches.

Reacting to the situation, Mae Hong Son’s provincial governor, Chettha Mosikarat, ordered his deputy to promptly investigate the issue to quell any further discontent within the school. The educational establishment houses over 500 students from a range of ethnic backgrounds. However, a superior’s urgent demand dictated that the school director be transferred within 24 hours.

The governor acknowledged that many associated with the school felt the director’s actions were excessively harsh. The Watchdog. Act’s Facebook page disseminated this information, fuelling online discussions scrutinising the school.

Mae La Noi Police Deputy Superintendent Somphet Phankab relayed to the media that over 20 students and parents had descended upon the police station at 7pm on Thursday to protest against the director’s complaint. Following negotiations between the police, students, parents, and the director, Rodkrue agreed to withdraw her complaint and vowed to improve the quality of the school lunches.

Rodkrue also put forward allegations that the incriminating photograph may have been taken elsewhere and had tarnished the reputation of her school.

The student group continued to voice their grievances to the media yesterday, questioning if the allocated budget of 30 baht per student should result in such poor-quality lunches. They also indicated that the standard of food had deteriorated since the director’s appointment last October, reported Bangkok Post.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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