BANGKOK — Students at Sarawittaya School in Bangkok said they will stage a protest at the campus on Thursday afternoon to call for an end to series of sexual harassment and corporal punishment by one of their teachers.
Kittipop Ponyorach, 14, a Mathayom 3 student in charge of the protest, said he initially planned to stage the rally on Friday, but moved it sooner to Thursday after the school management announced they will close the campus tomorrow for “mosquito spraying.”
“We haven’t concluded if we will name names,” Kittipop said.
The student activist said as many as 14 girls were sexually harassed by a teacher at the state-run school, which enrolls about 2,800 students.
Praphangkorn Chanhom, head of the Sarawittaya School Director Office, said by phone that the harassment took place once last year and involved only one male teacher.
Praphangkorn said the teacher received a formal warning and he is still teaching at the school. He refused to identify the teacher by name.
“He had put hands on the bodies of students and used suggestive words, but nothing indecent or violent,” Praphangkorn said. “Students are very strict about protecting their rights.”
Praphangkorn added that may be cases of other teachers using corporal punishment, which is banned under the school regulations, and the management will look into the complaints.
“We will let them protest this afternoon. They have the right,” he said.
The protest at Sarawittaya School followed revelations of serial violence committed against kindergarten pupils at another school northwest of Bangkok.
A leader of Bad Student, a group of high school student activists calling for education reform, said on the phone Thursday that many schools facing allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment of students should listen to the students’ grievances, and take serious action.
“They should make a compromise and let the students speak out,” Issadaorn Kulsantao, 17, said.