SURIN – Police have been called into the Ban Huai Poon School in Sangkha district od Surin Province after a teacher allegedly badly beat a seven-year-old pupil over a pen.
Pol Lt Col Porawet Krawenkit, an interrogator from the Sangkha police station, arrived at Ban Huai Poon School to question staff after the boy’s family accused teacher 57 year-ol Sangworn Harnpitak of brutally beating the grade one pupil with a tree branch.
The beating came to light after the boy’s grandmother posted a picture on Facebook showing numerous welts on his back and arms. The post was later shared via social media.
According to the Grandmothers post the grade one pupil took Mr Sangworn’s pen without his permission.
He later returned the pen, however Mr Sangworn allegedly beat the young boy until another teacher came to his rescue.
Pol Lt Col Porawet Krawenkit said he was unable to question Mr.Sangworn as he was conveniently absent from work, he did questioned the teachers who witnessed the incident and summoned Mr. Sangworn for questioning.
Khampoon Boonchern, director of primary education in Surin, visited the boy’s family and told them he had ordered the school’s head to finish his investigation into the case by early next week so that disciplinary and criminal actions could be taken. He gave the family 3,000 baht to boost morale.
Pornnapa Meechuen, a local social development and human security official, visited the boy’s family and found nine family members lived in a small one-storey house, walled and roofed with steel sheets, and slept on wooden planks.
The official gave them 1,000 baht and some consumer products as initial assistance, and promised to arrange additional social welfare support for the family.
Oom Phosarn, the boy’s maternal grandmother, said the boy had just moved from Pattaya, where he had lived with his paternal grandmother, a construction worker. The boy had just started his first school term in the Surin school.
She also said that other pupils had bullied her grandson, staining his school uniform with oil paints and painting his face like a cat.
The Student beating comes days after Child advocacy networks urged the government to introduce a ban on corporal punishment of children to avoid inflicting long-time mental suffering and causing low self-esteem.
The campaign against corporal punishment has also been jointly launched by Save the Children, the Childline Thailand Foundation (CTF), the Life Skills Development Foundation and the Gabfai Community Theatre.