School in Thailand under fire for transporting 100 boy scouts in articulated lorry

A school in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, southern Thailand, is facing backlash after more than 100 boy scouts were crammed into an articulated lorry to go on a school trip.

Netizens grew concerned after a clip of an 18-wheel articulated lorry carrying a truckload of children wearing boy scout uniforms circulated on social media.

Yesterday, the director of Wat Lam Nao School, Sommai Sudthanom, confirmed that the clip is real and it is he who ordered the young scouts to get into the trailer.

The director said over 100 boy scouts were taken from the school in the Bang Khen district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province to Chaloem Phrakiat Scout Camp in Huai Yot district of Trang province, where they are camping for four days and three nights.

Parents and guardians complained that they feared for the safety of the 100 children when the vehicle turns a corner or in the instance of an accident. Articulated lorries are not designed for and are not suitable for transporting children, they argued.

School director Sommai argued that there were three good reasons (although one and three are the same) for transporting the scouts in the 18-wheeler…

    1. “The school has no money to hire a bus, but the scouts need to go camping. So, I decided they could go in an 18-wheel articulated lorry which I bought myself to transport palm oil.”
    2. “The camp is only 26 kilometres away from the school to the scout camp. The students were not tired at all. It’s a big vehicle and it’s probably safer than a pickup truck or songthaew.”
    3. “It’s a good idea because it’s my vehicle, so there is no cost.”

Teachers taught the children how to safely ascend and descend from the lorry using a ladder, added Sommai.

The experience gives the children an opportunity to practise patience and support each other, said the director.

The school director claims that the scouts’ parents knew beforehand how the students would get to camp.

EducationThailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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