In Songkhla, a libel spat brews at PSU

In Songkhla, a libel spat brews at PSU

SONGKHLA: A school counsellor and her lawyer have filed a petition with the director of PSU Wittayanusorn School demanding the institute remove an announcement saying the teacher was fired as she failed to resign before passing an exam to become a civil servant.

Suchat Sukhaphan, director of the demonstration school run by Prince of Songkla University (PSU) in Hat Yai district, insisted the announcement was correct and necessary.

Arisara Musikarak, the counsellor whose contract with the school ends in the middle of April, said she was shocked to see the notice posted on the school's official Facebook page. She said the message was misleading.

Published last Friday, it said Ms Arisara's employment was terminated on March 15, and that any of her actions subsequent to that date have no connection with the school.

In her previous response posted on social media, Ms Arisara said the principal, upon learning she had won first place in the civil servant recruitment reexamination in Songkhla, told her to sign a document admitting she had committed serious misconduct by failing to resign before sitting the exam.

Ms Arisara is also demanding financial compensation for any damage caused to her reputation.

Mr Suchat said the school has never prohibited anyone from taking such an exam but its employment regulations clearly state staff must resign beforehand.

He said the notice was not intended to shame Ms Arisara but merely to inform other parties the teacher no longer works for the school. He also demanded she hand over control of a school-related counselling page she created using her personal Facebook account.

The school will consider legal action against her if she does anything to damage its reputation, he said.

Pichit Rerngsangvatana, a vice president of PSU who received Ms Arisara's petition, said an investigation will be conducted.

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