PHUKET: Six students in their first year of secondary school have been caught skipping school to get high on ya bah (methamphetamine) in an abandoned disco in the heart of Phuket Town.
First year secondary school students (Matthayom 1) are typically 13 years old.
The six students, all enrolled at an unspecified school under the administration of Phuket City Municipality, were caught red-handed by truancy officers.
Most were caught with small amounts of ya bah (methamphetamine), although one student had a small quantity of ya ice (crystal meth).
Appearing before Phuket Muang District Chief Supachai Pochanukul and school administrators, the six confessed to getting high on meth in the abandoned Hollywood Pub.
Not to be confused with the popular Hollywood Disco in Patong, the venue was once a popular Thai-style “coffee shop”. It is located on Bangkok Road, around the corner from Muang Phuket School. The club closed down years ago and is now one of many large, derelict buildings in Phuket Town.
After undergoing positive urine tests for ya bah, all six confessed to having skipped school that day to get high. They also admitted to having done the same thing the day before.
Kriangkrai Boonda, deputy director of the Education Ministry’s Semarak Center, said that all of the children’s parents had been made aware of the situation and the details are now part of their records.
The Semarak Center is the ministry’s nationwide truancy network, with branches in every government school.
Mr Kriangkrai encouraged the public to report any inappropriate behavior by students through the centers hotline number 1579. Semarak Center investigators make regular inspections of shopping centers, public parks and other popular youth hangouts, as notified by the public, he said.
The most common type of inappropriate behavior is kissing or cuddling in public, he said.
For illegal drug use, he encouraged parents to keep a sharp eye out for any changes in student behavior, including staying out late and hanging out with new friends that might lead them astray, he said.
— Siangtai Daily
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