Pupils accuse principal of misconduct

The principal of a district high school in Phitsanulok will be transferred out of the area after pupils rallied Monday to demand his expulsion after accusing him of acting improperly towards six teenage girl students, mostly in Matthayom 2 and 3 (Grade 8 and 9).

About 100 students of Wat Boat Sueksa School in Wat Bot district gathered in front of the school’s shrine this morning.

They demanded the removal of their headmaster Samarn Sareekham and an investigation into his alleged misconduct, and that it be concluded within seven days.

Ploy Konesantia, a Matthayom 6 student who led the protest, alleged at least six students had  been a target of harassment.

Ms Ploy said the girls accused Mr Samarn of groping their arms and fondling their hair.

Mr Samarn also joined a group of female students who were talking on school premises about the dreams they had at night and shared with them an indecent story of his "wet dream", she claimed. 

One of the girls said the principal offered to take her home in his car but drove elsewhere and then asked her not to tell her parents. He also telephoned her every Friday to ask her out. 

She said Mr Samarn gave her a tablet computer to play with while travelling in his car and alleged he tried to touch her.        

Ms Ploy said although she would not deem his behaviour to be sexual molestation, it was extremely inappropriate and unacceptable. 

Ms Ploy said she and her friends did not have photos as evidence, but they had interviewed the junior high schoolers who claimed they were harrassed by Mr Samarn and had recorded their stories.

The group submitted the material and a letter of request to Somkiat Boonrod, director of the Secondary Educational Service Area Office 39, through his deputy, Suchon Wichiansawan. 

The protesters agreed to disperse and attend classes after Mr Suchon told them Mr Samarn would be initially transferred to an inactive post at his office on Tuesday and then be transferred out of the area in one or two weeks. Mr Suchon said his office would investigate the allegation and ensure justice for all.

Mr Samarn could not be reached for comment. 

Photos by Chinnawat Singha

Related search: education, teacher misconduct, pupils protest

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Writer: Chinnawat Singha
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