Mr Phansak Thanpo is a teacher of Western music at Angthong College of Dramatic Arts.
In May 2011 admitted caning several girls for failing schoolwork. Some of the girls were caned up to 57 times each. The incident came to light after one parent reported Mr Thanpo to the police and it was then covered expensively in both be Thai and International media. This forced the school to cancel a second caning of the same girls that had been set for the following week. Initially Mr Thanpo refused to cancel the 2nd caning claiming that he was within his rights and that no one could stop him.
Clearly Mr Thanpo is unfit to be a teacher as he appears to have no idea of the law governing the teaching profession. We believe Mr Thanpo should be prosecuted and jailed for this offence.
We have no photograph of Mr Thanpo but you can see him in this video. He is the teacher wearing the pink shirt.
When the incident was first reported Mrs Thongman was uninterested in taking any action according to one girls father, Mr Boonlert. He also stated she replied that she agreed with the teacher and was (apparently) initially sanctioning the further caning that was planned for the 31st May 2011.
Mrs Kanya only started to take the matter seriously when the incident was reported to the police and received widespread national and international news coverage.
She (allegedly) persuaded Mr Boonlert to drop the charges with the police in return for the 2nd caning being cancelled and also promised an internal school disciplinary investigation into the teacher, Mr Phansak Thanpo.
Ms Kanya said if the disciplinary investigation finds Mr Phansak guilty, he will face punishment ranging from disciplinary probation or a cut in pay to suspension, removal or dismissal.
Question? How can he NOT be guilty? He admitted the offence!
Mrs Kanya also stated that
Caning is banned in schools but she believed it is sometimes justified!
This raises very serious issues about the competence of Ms Kanya to be a director of a school, for the following reasons.
1. She clearly has NO understanding of the law! It is BANNED and ILLEGAL and therefore there can NEVER be any “justification”. Any management position in any profession must have a clear understanding of relevant law. This is especially true when the law is there to protect the vulnerable i.e. children.
2. Children in her school are clearly at risk of assault if she believes it is “OK sometimes”.
3. Justified?? Does this mean that people who have no money can sometimes be justified to rob a bank or steal from a neightbours house?
4. WHY did she intervene in a criminal investigation and why did she attempt to stop this. The police MUST be allowed to do their jobs in cases of alleged child abuse.
It is our belief that the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Culture (who the school is under the auspices of) should launch an immediate investigation into Ms Kanya Thongman and if she is found to be incompetent, or guilty of attempting to protect a child abuser from prosection, should be immediately dismissed and perhaps prosected herself.
Teachers must OBEY the law at ALL times and school directors have a duty to ensure they are 100% AWARE of the law that governs their profession. They also need to take responsibility for the actions of their employees and Mrs Kanya should NEVER have attempted to stop the police investigation or prevent this man from being tried in an appropriate court of law.
News has broken today in the Thai newspapers and TV of the mass caning of girls at Angthong College of Dramatic Arts.
The teacher concerned is Mr Phansak Thanpo,
He caned many girls, some of them 57 times, for failing exams.
He has been summoned to the police station but is claiming that no one can touch him and that he will be caning all the girls again on the 31st May 2011.
The school is a dramatic arts college so they are under the regulations of the Ministry of Culture and may not have to abide by Ministry of Education regulations which strictly forbid corporal punishment. This remains to be seen as we do not think this has ever been tested before in court.
However, the Child Protection Act 2005 bans ALL corporal punishment in ALL schools so we cannot see they have a defence.
Directors email address is firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to email her to let her know how you feel.
57 times for failing an exam is not only ridiculous it is inhuman and barbaric in the extreme.
Childline have been notified, as have UNICEF and the Ministry of Education but as yet we are unsure what they can do. We hope that this teacher and this director are charged and get their day in court and then many years in a Thai jail for this terrible crime.