Class beatings spark fury
Cops probe clips of children as young as three being hit
Police are weighing assault charges against a teacher fired for beating kindergarten students at a private school in Nonthaburi after a video of the incidents provoked outrage among parents and the public.
A group of parents yesterday filed a complaint with Chaiyaphreuk police in Pak Kret district of Nonthaburi, asking them to take action over the assaults on the children, some as young as three.
Pol Col Sathitporn Bunyarattanaphan, chief of Chaiyaphreuk station, told investigators to expedite the case and work with psychiatrists to question the children who were assaulted. Sources said officers administered drug tests on the teacher and the initial results were negative.
Several videos that have been widely shared online show different occasions in which a woman is seen assaulting kindergarten one pupils at the privately run Sarasas Witaed Ratchaphruek School in Pak Kret.
One video obtained from closed-circuit TV in the classroom showed the woman pushing a girl to the floor and pulling her hair in the presence of teaching assistants who failed to intervene. The incident happened on Wednesday and drew anger from parents who saw the video after it was posted on Facebook on Friday.
Other videos show other examples of mistreatment by the teacher, identified as Ornuma "Khru Jum" Plodprong, including the use of a broom to beat some children.
Angry parents went to the school and confronted Ms Ornuma on Friday. They later filed a complaint with police.
Yesterday, school executives sent a letter to Nonthaburi education authorities about what they acknowledged were inappropriate punishments used by the teacher against children on Wednesday.
The school expressed regret and said it would take responsibility. It has fired the teacher and promised to take disciplinary action against other staff involved.
School officials have met the parents and are providing legal assistance to families taking action against the accused teacher.
Another meeting has been set for Tuesday to further discuss the situation.
The mother of one boy who was assaulted said she was puzzled as to why her son did not want to go to school and noticed her son became frightened of seeing his teacher. She later learned what had happened to him after seeing the video.
Chotipong Harnkhajornsuk, 41, another parent, said his child had also become fearful of going to school. He questioned why other teaching staff who witnessed the incidents did not intervene. He said he would ask the school to provide more CCTV footage to parents.