A 45-year-old Thai woman has been charged with assault after she slapped the face of a 15-year-old schoolgirl who did not stand up for the national anthem at Ayutthaya railway station on Tuesday evening.
A video of the station vendor assaulting the 15-year-old girl went viral online, drawing fierce criticism of the woman’s action.
The street vendor, identified only as Poo, became angry after the girl failed to stand up for the 6 pm national anthem on Tuesday.
When the national anthem was finished she walked over to the girl and criticised her for not standing up. She then slapped her in the face and pulled her hair, in full view of the many people waiting for a train. Luckily, people intervened and stopped the assault.
The girl’s family filed a complaint against the woman at Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya police station and Ms Poo yesterday apologised to the girl’s family and admitted she acted impulsively.
She told police that after seeing the student deciding not to stand during the national anthem, she went over to her and asked whether she was a Thai or not, and why she was not paying respect to the anthem.
The woman claimed the girl replied that it was her personal right not to stand up and this angered her so she assaulted the girl, police said.
However, the girl’s uncle said she did not stand up because she was having her period, not because she was showing a lack of respect for the anthem as the woman claimed.
He said the family would forgive her and bear no grudge but would let the police case against her proceed.
The woman has been charged with assault, which carries a jail term of up to one month and/or a fine of up to 10,000 baht.