Thursday, March 4, 2021

6,000 Baht Fine Levied Against Teacher in Nonthaburi for Corporal Punishment

The six children had red marks on their left hands.

Photos of the injuries.

When: December 22nd, 2020

Where: Sarasas Witaed Ratchaphruek School, Nonthaburi

Perpetrators: Mr. Suthiphon Wongkwanmuang, or Kru Kabu

Victims: 6 kids, 7 years old each

What: The district court in Nonthaburi ruled that Mr. Suthiphon Wongkwanmuang, or Kru Kabu, a music teacher at the Sarasas Witaed Ratchaphruek School assaulted six children. There were six lawsuits, one filed for each victim, brought against the teacher.

The circumstances were similar in each case. Kru Kabu used the handle of a dustpan and hit the left palm of the six students, three of which were girls and three were boys. All of the children were seven years old. The punishment left red marks on the students.

The charges were filed under Penal Code Section 391. The teacher plead guilty to all six cases. The court ordered a fine for each case of 1,000 baht, for a total of 6,000 baht, with the request for further penalties pending.

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My take: I grew up with my grandparents. My grandfather always told me stories similar to this back when he grew up going to a rural school.

It’s a legacy form of punishment and everybody holds a strong opinion about the matter. I’m a parent myself and I am not against corporal punishment categorically. But this teacher seemed unable to control their own urge to punish the children in this way and it does seem like a pattern of abuse developed in the classroom.

Further, the school has been under scrutiny in the past for abuse allegations, as you can read here in the Bangkok Post in an article from October: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/special-reports/1996187/school-under-scrutiny-over-student-abuse-allegations

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