Korat teacher flayed for slapping pupil

Korat teacher flayed for slapping pupil

A screen shot taken from video footage shows the moment a pupil at a high school in Nakhon Ratchasima was slapped by a school administrator on Friday.
A screen shot taken from video footage shows the moment a pupil at a high school in Nakhon Ratchasima was slapped by a school administrator on Friday.

NAKHON RATCHASIMA — A school administrator is in hot water over a video that captured him losing his temper with protesting students and slapping one of them in the head.

The incident occurred at Soeng Sang school at Ban Bua Luang in tambon Soeng Sang on Friday, when dozens of students refused to attend classes and gathered on the football pitch to demand an accounting of the money that school officials had collected.

The group, led by a male eleventh grader, whose name was withheld, wanted to know whether the money collected from parents had been spent transparently. 

Their chief concern was the school's demand for 200 baht from each pupil to fund a mobile SMS service, purportedly to help the school stay in touch with students and their parents.

Isoonpiyathorn Jutjatham, the school's deputy director, confronted the young protesters and challenged them to record him and post the results online if they wanted.

At least one of them, a Facebook user named Pag Pratchayanon, took him at his word and posted a 2.19-minute video clip.

The clip shows the teacher being booed by the pupils for his intimidating approach and failure to clearly answer the young protest leader's questions. 

At one point he hurled a soft drink can on the ground and trampled on it. He later slapped the eleventh grader hard on the head. At that point a physical education teacher intervened and warned him: "You can't hurt the kid. You must talk to them." 

The video has gone viral and caused fury among internet users. Many want Mr Isoonpiyathorn's superiors to dismiss him rather than transferring him, alleging his behaviour and attitude would be a problem at any school. 

Ronnachai Sooksomboon, deputy director of the Secondary Educational Service Area Office 31, which oversees the Soeng Sang school, said a committee had been set up to investigate the incident. Mr Isoonpiyathorn would be transferred to an inactive post outside the district pending the investigation, which would take about a week.

He said Mr Isoonpiyathorn had admitted that he hit the boy because he lost his temper while trying to persuade the group to disperse and prepare for any consequences.  

Mr Ronnachai said the SMS project had been suspended indefinitely and parents who had paid the 200 baht would get their money back next week. The school had received about 100,000 baht from the parents.

The pupil who was assaulted said the protesters had demanded clarifications several times about how the extra money was being used to develop the school but never received answers. 

On Saturday, his parents took him to a local police station and asked a duty officer to put the incident in the daily record to use as future evidence. The parents said they feared Mr Isoonpiyathorn would threaten the family after the video went viral.

The video clip below, posted by a YouTube user named คลิปตลก, shows at 1.55 the moment when Soeng Sang school deputy director Isoonpiyathorn Jutjatham slaps a young protester. (Original video from Facebook user Pag Pratchayanon)


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