Staff That Watched Teacher Beat Children Face Legal Action

Teacher pushing kid to the floor

Today, The Office of the Private Education Commission (Opec) will ask executives at the privately-run Sarasas Witaed Ratchaphruek School to take legal action against staff members who watched a teacher beat young children and did nothing to stop it.

Opec Secretary-General Attapon Truektrong on Sunday raised questions about the school’s punishment for the teacher, saying a reprimand was not adequate.

He also said assistant teachers turning a blind eye to the incident was as bad as actually committing the offence themselves.

Mr Truektrong later said he was told the teacher had been fired.

He said the woman accused of beating the children had no teaching licence but the school hired her anyway.

Opec would also consider whether the school’s tuition was too expensive and whether its English programme for nursery students complied with regulations, Mr Truektrong said.

Tuition at Sarasas Withaed Ratchaphruek is reportedly over 100,000 baht per semester.

Last week, several videos were widely shared online showing different occasions on which a woman is seen assaulting kindergarten 1 pupils at the school.

Angry parents went to the school and confronted the woman in the videos, identified as Ornuma “Khru Jum” Plodprong, on 25th September.

She later filed a complaint with police against the parents.

School officials have met the parents and are providing legal assistance to families taking action against the accused teacher.

Parents have also lodged complaints against her with local police. Deputy Education Minister Kanokwan Wilawan will today meet parents of the students in Khru Jum’s case at the ministry.

Violence against children contravenes the constitution, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Early Childhood Development Act, said Prakairat Tonthirawong, a member of the National Human Rights Commission.

Ms Tonthirawong said the Ministry of Education should strive to prevent violence against students with appropriate methods such as training for teachers on developmental psychology.

A Facebook page called “Social Hunter. Reborn” reported that an elementary school teacher of the same school had hit students from her class with a long-handled dustpan.