School Orders Staff to Monitor Student Rally, Leaked Memo Says

An anti-government protest in Nakhon Pathom on July 30, 2020.

BANGKOK — A highschool in Nakhon Phanom province declined to comment on a leaked internal memo, in which the school director instructs the staff to monitor students’ political activities.

The document shows Banjong Sriprasert, director of Piyamaharachalai School, telling his teachers to observe their students and immediately report to the administration if any joined anti-government rallies. The memo, dated Aug. 7, also orders teachers to discourage students from criticizing the monarchy.

A staff member at the school said on the phone Monday that Banjong will not give an interview on the matter.

Asked how the memo was leaked to the public, she said, “We can’t really tell.”

The letter appeared to be issued a day after Piyamaharachalai School students organized their own anti-government protest on Aug. 6.

Pro-democracy activist Sombat Boonngam-anong posted the leaked memo on his Facebook page on Sunday. Sombat said on the phone that he received the leaked memo from a school teacher in the province.

“I think it’s a way to control and harass the young people,” he said.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said Piyamaharachalai School is located in Nakhon Pathom. In fact, it’s in Nakhon Phanom province.