School Suspends Teacher Who Molested Boys in Exchange for Grades

A file photo of Matthayom Than Bin Kamphaeng Saen School.
A file photo of Matthayom Than Bin Kamphaeng Saen School.

BANGKOK — A teacher identified by students as a serial sexual predator was suspended from a school in Nakhon Pathom, an education official said Tuesday.

The unidentified teacher at Matthayom Than Bin Kamphaeng Saen School was transferred to an inactive post and placed under investigation, sec-gen of the Office of Basic Education Commission Amnat Wichayanuwat said. The action came after students at his school aired their complaint on social media.

“I have been informed of the incident. I ordered a local office to remove him from active duty and set up an investigation committee,” Amnat said. “This is considered to be a serious offense. If he is found guilty, he will be fired and we will take legal and disciplinary actions against him.”

Amnat did not identify the teacher by name.

Details of the teacher’s alleged abuse emerged after student right groups Education for Liberation of Siam posted a photo showing the teacher embracing a male student inside a classroom.

“A Nakhon Pathom teacher asked students to masturbate and suffer molestation in exchange for their grades,” the post wrote. “He would ask students to come into a locked classroom one by one. One of the abused students said he didn’t want to see the teacher, but he also didn’t want to get an F.”

The group added that the teacher had been abusing male students for a long time. According to screen captures posted by the group, he also posted pick up lines on students’ Facebook pages.

It is unclear how long the abuse took place, or how many students have been abused by him. The school’s director Supranee Yhulerk said she could not disclose the details as the investigation is still ongoing.

“We are not hiding the truth, but it’s a matter of protocol,” Supranee said. “The school is doing our best to protect the students.”

Sexual assault in educational institutions is not uncommon in Thailand. Last year, a survey of 1,000 students said 17 percent experienced sexual harassment in school.

In 2016, a teacher was suspended for posting videos of him having sex with students on his Twitter account, but he allegedly returned to teaching two years after he was exposed.

Matthayom Than Bin Kamphaeng Saen School is a public school located inside an air force base in Nakhon Pathom province. It is attended by about 2,500 students from Matthayom 1 to Matthayom 6.