|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1999 : TH Schools Aug 1999|
Bangkok Post, 17 August 1999
Spanking angers parents
Pupils punished for bringing own lunch
By Sunthorn Pongpao
About 70 parents staged a rally in front of a municipal school yesterday accusing teachers of brutality.
The group, who claimed to represent parents of some 800 children of kindergarten up to Pathom 6 level, said they were unhappy with the teachers, especially Araya Sermsartthanasawat, the director, whom they accused of having a habit of spanking children.
Citing an example, they said tots would be spanked once and bigger children twice if they were caught eating lunch outside the school.
The school charges each pupil 150 baht a month or 12 baht a day for lunches but the food is of poor quality and often insufficient, they said. Students who brought lunch boxes from home were also punished for not supporting the school's lunch programme.
One of the parents, Nipa Wanyen, said her eight-year-old daughter was hit once on the palm in her presence by Mrs Araya for eating outside school.
She said her daughter was sick that day but insisted on going to school, so she took her to see a doctor who prescribed some medicine. After entering the school, Mrs Nipa sought permission from a teacher, identified only as Khru Noi, to take her daughter out to eat before taking the medicine.
"After my child had eaten two spoonsful of rice, Khru Noi came to inform me that the director wanted to see me immediately," Mrs Nipa said.
She said she tried to explain to the director that her daughter was sick and had to eat before taking the pills, but the director refused to accept her explanation and insisted the child had to be punished for eating outside the school.
Another parent, Sawang Pengsuk, said his daughter was spanked almost every day for having breakfast in front of the school. He said he didn't cook at home and his daughter had to eat before attending class. "How can the children study without breakfast?" he said.
Mr Sawang also said his daughter last week asked him for 6 baht in addition to her daily stipend to pay the teacher for having made six mistakes in her homework.
The parents demanded to see Mrs Araya but were told to send representatives to see the assistant director, Thewin Kwangthong, and the assistant education chief of Samut Prakan municipality, Narin Kampho. The parents were told Mrs Araya was undergoing a blood check in Samut Sakhon.
Mr Narin accepted their complaints but said school rules had to be observed and rejected a proposed disciplinary probe against the director, who was not available for comment.
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