What part of the word illegal dont you understand?

This question always bemuses me.

What part of the word ILLEGAL do Thai teachers and administrators not understand?

You can come up with as many excuses and reasons as you want but it it AGAINST THE LAW for teachers to hit a child in a school in Thailand. This applies to any form of hitting be it hard or soft, with a cane or with a hand, it is ILLEGAL! If you break the law you are committing (or abetting) a crime!

You cannot get around the law by claiming it was “reasonable” or that you have the parents permission, or that the law is flexible etc. The law exists to protect chilren, ALL children equally. NO teacher,  school, or parent has the right to choose to ignore the law. Are we a country of laws or are we a country of anarchy?

In worst cases we have people like Kanya Thongman and Mayuree Karikarn, school administrators who admit its illegal but attempt to not only justify it but to cover up for teachers who are abusers.

Most of those teachers who hit always say they do it because the children break the school rules!!

So…………..if a child breaks a “rule” they should be punished (ok we can agree with that) but if a teacher breaks the LAW that is OK?? We don’t think so! Teachers are just as accountable as every other member of society! They are not “special” and they do not have any special status that allows them to pick and choose which laws they obey and which they do not.

On the other hand…………..it is probably a good indicator of the low intelligence level of the abusers that they continue, often openly, to blatantly ignore the laws of our land. After all if they do not understand the meaning of ONE simple word what is the likelihood they understand anything else?

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Posted on March 30, 2011, in Thai Teachers and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Hard to believe that teachers, of all people, cannot obey one simple law. It seems so widespread in Thailand that you are correct it does make you wonder about teacher IQ levels there.

  2. Disgusts me to read that people cannot implement a simple law governing their own profession. They are either too stupid to understand it or they understand it full well but just enjoy it too much.

  3. Its a sad fact that half the teachers here are simply NOT capable of understanding these issues as they just dont have the IQ levels. The other half choose not to understand.

  4. For people to comment on IQ levels is simply unfair. As a former teacher at the school, I am fully aware of the goings on and I know for a fact that the disciplinary hearing did take place and action was taken. I would also like to know why you feel it is OK to name and shame the Thai Teachers, but not the Western Teacher? The Filipino teachers were fully aware of the no hitting rule. Before you start branding things over the internet, maybe you should get your facts straight. The Thai Teachers, especially in the Thai Programme, work very hard and exceptionally long hours. Until people fully understand this, maybe they should lay off and spend their free time doing something worthwhile like disciplining and/or take care of their own children!

  5. Outraged, what school are you referring to? There is no school mentioned in this article!

  6. @Outraged

    Are you suggesting that being tired and overworked is a good excuse to abuse kids? I have been teaching here for 14 years and I know it IS a cause but its not an excuse.

  7. @Paul, I agree, it is a cause and not an excuse, but then again I never said it was. Seeing as you’re a teacher, do you not agree that the parents should take a more active role in taking responsibility of their children instead of leaving it to the teacher? Also, many Thai parents give permission to the teacher to hit their child as this is how the child is disciplined at home. You must have heard this. I have met many many westerners who have either heard this or been given permission by the parents.

  8. @Outraged

    Lets make some things VERY clear. The Ministry of Education has made it clear that “opt outs” for parents do NOT exist. No one can “opt out” of the law. See the case at Yothinburana School (amongst others) to clarify. This school (along with man y others) claimed it had a written agreement with parents to cane students. The Ministry made it clear to the school(s) that agreement was UNLAWFUL and no defense.

    If a parent asks a teacher to hit a child they are asking that teacher to break the law. If that teacher does so they are committing a criminal act regardless. As the “law” is one of “criminal assault” only the perpetrator can be prosecuted. The school administrators and parents cannot be prosecuted, and they know this in most cases. Teachers therefore must be self responsible if they abuse children.

    When CP was reinstated in 2003 (it was originally banned in 2000) the law DID permit a parental opt out. However the current law (2005) removed that opt out clause.

    The law is there to protected children, ALL children EQUALLY. The views of the parents are, rightly or wrongly, irrelevant as the law stands. You cannot have a situation where 2 kids break the same rule and one is beaten and one is not. That is why the parental opt out was removed in 2005.

  9. I would also suggest you tell the “western” teachers the law! The parents who ask them to do this know fully well that they personally cannot be prosecuted. These teachers are putting their livelihood, and possible freedom (the charge carries up to two years in jail). All foreign teachers should make themselves aware of the law here and should point out to any parents “giving permission” that they are asking them to commit a criminal offense. They should therefore politely decline that request with an explanation as many parents do not know the law either. Sadly the beating of children in the home is NOT illegal in Thailand so we cannot comment on that.

    Here is the Ministry of Education “rule” – perhaps next time you are told this you can quote it:. This rule is the instruction to the schools themselves, any prosecution in the courts is a separate issue.

    “any teacher who hits a student should be immediately dismissed and have their teachers license reviewed”.

    The “review” is conducted in the Education Court, not the criminal court, which is separate proceeding.

    In truth few teachers are jailed. We know of only a handful who were jailed in 2011, and most of those received suspended sentences. However HUNDREDS lost their teachers licenses, and therefore lost not only their livelihoods but their pensions, low cost loans etc etc. (yes I know they don’t apply to foreign teachers).

  10. Outraged.

    Of course I agree re the parents.

    Yes, I have been asked myself to do this. I simply tell them I will not break the law for them under any circumstances. No way would I risk jail or deportation for them. Some have even tried to pay me.

    Besides which I will never work in a school that condones child abuse. I have seen many teachers dismissed over the last few years, almost all tried to use the argument that parents had asked them to do and almost all had no idea they were breaking the law. 100% were NON Thai, usually Filipinas who failed to make themselves aware of the law.

    Most parents who ask are genuinely shocked to find out it is illegal but usually understand as I actually show them a print out of the law. Those who try to insist are given very short thrift.

    You do highlight the problem. Not only teachers are ignorant of the law but many parents too.

  11. How about Thai teachers who hit farang teachers? I had three stitches in the back of my head (wasn’t even able to turn and face my attacker) a few months back. He’s been written up by the police, and they have sent the paperwork to the prosecutor, but he’s also still working while I moved on because I didn’t feel safe going back to my office.

  12. What an ignorant question to ask in this country. Obviously you don’t know Thai people very well, or have not lived in this country for very long. Thai people don’t respect the law, of course they know what illegal means, but they don’t care. Look at how they live, on the roads, alcohol/drugs etc and these are laws that are there to actually keep them safe. Now your asking them to stop doing something that was done to them, and that they do at home. I have add parents tell to hit their children if they are lazy or naughty. If you want teachers to stop hitting children in this country, educate them. Don’t ridicule them or think your better because you don’t hit children. And educate the parents who beat their children at home. Your hitting on such a small piece of the pie, that nothing will change. One major excuse is “if we cant hit them, then what do we do?” Many teachers and parents hit their children because they know no other way, and no one seems willing to educate them. All they do is blame them and abuse them for being stupid.

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