Nakhon Phanom: Education authorities have found grounds to believe that a science teacher sexually molested a 17-year-old female student in this northeastern province and suspended him pending an investigation, according to the provincial education office.
Thansuthee Pakkathathreerat, acting chief of the Nakhon Phanom education office, said on Tuesday that the suspension came after the teacher was earlier transferred from his high school to the Education Area 22 office, which supervises schools in the province. The transfer was prompted by a complaint filed by the mother of the alleged victim.
The suspension was in response to Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan's instruction that the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) get to the bottom of the complaint.
Mr Thansuthee said initial investigation confirmed there were grounds to the allegation, adding that several girls at the high school were suspected of having been abused by him.
Mr Thansuthee added the teacher is suspended pending a probe and a Education Ministry's decision on whether he should be dismissed.
On Tuesday, a source said the teacher had reported to the education area office and provided a statement, after which the office decided the allegation had grounds, which led to the suspension order.
The alleged victims had reportedly kept quiet about the ordeal because they were afraid of the teacher who claimed he had high-level connections at the Education Ministry.
The alleged abuse came to light after the mother of one of the girls noticed her daughter appeared withdrawn and refused to go to school, the source said. The woman also learned her daughter had been communicating with a male teacher via Line and Facebook before he molested her.
The education area office helped the woman file a police complaint against the teacher.