An education authority in Ratchaburi has excused a teacher who assaulted a little girl who couldn’t keep up with her reading.
They said the teacher had retired and just helps out at the school and his methods were from a bygone era.
But though he has been warned about his behaviour he has not lost his job and continues to teach.
He has just said sorry to the enraged parent of the girl in the P3 class.
The mother of the child named only as “Toey” said her daughter had only started at the school on May 16th after transferring from one in Prajuab.
She said she came home on Tuesday and later that evening complained of pain in her bottom. It was soon revealed that she had been mercilessly beaten with a stick.
The little girl confirmed that she had been unable to keep up with a reading exercise and that the old teacher had called her out in front of the class and hit her repeatedly.
Mum Thanyalak Kuanthong, 31, was shocked and said that her daughter was terrified of going back to school to face her tormentor.
She posted horrible images of the wounds inflicted on her daughter on Facebook.
But Songsit Sinpatharakun of the Ratcaburi Region 1 education authority said that the teacher concerned was still in a job.
He said that the teacher had retired but was used as a helper at the school. He was familiar with the era when teachers were allowed to hit children.
He said that he had ordered the school director to call in the teacher and remind him that hitting children was no longer acceptable.
He should give warnings, not hit them with sticks, he said.
He added that the teacher concerned had apologized to the parent of the child.
As regular readers will have gathered by now, this is a topic that makes me extremely angry. As an ex-teacher of 34 years in the UK, I am well-aware of the term “old school” as it was how I was considered to be by the school hierarchy in my final years.
To be honest, although it hastened my retirement, I was rather proud to be considered as such. Throughout my teaching career, I insisted on good behaviour, politeness, consideration for others and attentiveness in class.
Sadly, the ridiculous notion that a child should never be upset at school became the new ideal, something that is impossible and does the child no favours, particularly in the world we live in.
My most potent weapon for getting results was humour . At the beginning of each school year , I was a little on the strict side, laying down the ground rules. As the term progressed, my humour became gradually more evident, providing a more relaxed, happy atmosphere. A learning environment.
But the children were aware of where the line that wasn’t to be crossed was and everyone got along famously. It had to be done that way, you can’t start off being the pupils’ best friend then suddenly finding that you need to exert control. That is not fair on the pupils.
I was reminded of a story from my time at Arnold Junior School in Blackpool whilst I was back in the UK recently. I discovered from a parent that at the beginning of one school year, an 8 year-old boy was crying because he didn’t want to come into my class because I was “strict.”
Ten months later that same boy cried again because he didn’t want to leave my class !
However, never in 34 years did I use any kind of corporal punishment because of problems with a child’s work. Not because I couldn’t, but because it is wrong.
What is happening here so often is totally out of order. This particular case should have resulted in the teacher being removed and then charged with assault. Because that is what it was, pure and simple.
I find it astounding here how much weight an “apology” carries. I am a great believer in apologising when I’m wrong but you should not be able to wriggle out of serious situations so easily.
If anything remotely like this happens to my girlfriend’s small granddaughter, the school is going to have a very angry farang who knows what he’s talking about to deal with.