LOEI — A teacher at a northern public school faced fierce criticism on Wednesday after she told her students in class that the 29 people died in a recent mass shooting because they were unattentive of their surroundings.
The unidentified math teacher at Srisongkram Wittaya School was filmed making her controversial comments by one of her students, who later posted the video to social media. The teacher remains unreprimanded as of Wednesday morning despite the outrage from many netizens.
“Some of those people that died on Saturday lacked mindfulness (sati). They weren’t aware of what was happening, so they were shot dead. That’s just like some people who don’t care what the school wants them to do or listen,” she said.
When the class tittered at her remark, she snapped, “Over there, did your relatives die?”
She was earlier scolding the students for not paying enough attention during a school activity at the flagpole.
The clip went viral when it was tweeted Tuesday night by @ELSiamTh, an education rights activist group, and retweeted more than 9,000 times. Discussion of the clip mushroomed in the hashtag #FamousPurpleWhiteinLoei, in reference to Srisongkram Wittaya’s official colors.
Someone who picked up the phone at Srisongkram Wittaya refused to give the name of the teacher, and said there would be a school meeting tonight about the issue, but the teacher has not been reprimanded yet.
Education minister Nattapon Tipsuwan said the school should look into the incident in a timely manner.
“A teacher with bad behavior must be dealt with swiftly and decisively. Leaving the problem as-is by transferring the teacher won’t end the problem,” Nattapon told reporters.
The school has not posted an apology on their Facebook as of press time either, but many Facebookers are already flooding the page with angry comments.
While many are lashing out at the teacher, some Srisongkram Wittaya students and alumni were offended that the school’s reputation was being tarnished.
“Don’t be stupid. When I was a student, the teacher spoke even worse to us. They told us all to go die. If you can’t take it, just stay at home,” tweeted @Theerapolchais1, prompting outrage from other users.
The student who uploaded the original clip, @Bccc41 on Twitter, said that she was called into the school administrator’s office for a warning and asked to delete the recording. The student said she complied with the order, but there was no punishment.
“I hope that the teacher changes her actions after this,” @Bccc41 tweeted.
Teachers in state-run schools are rarely disciplined for their infractions, which often include physical assault and harassment of their students.
In November, a teacher at a school in Samut Sakhon who was filmed striking students across the face in front of the class for not doing their homework received no disciplinary action.