School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

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School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by Udon Map » May 24, 2020, 11:39 am

Calls for back-to-basics approach to prevention

From The Bangkok Post
By: Dumrongkiat Mala

Abuse.jpg
Activists use black masks to represent "devils in teacher's clothing" to denounce sex attacks by teachers on schoolchildren at a protest at the Education Ministry on Ratchadamnoen Road on Friday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

The three child sexual abuses cases which have taken place this month are clearly a wake-up call for all stakeholders to come up with better prevention methods.

The latest case, of repeated gang rape in Mukdahan's Muang district earlier this month, was the most disturbing. Thais were shocked to learn the seven suspects were five teachers and two alumni from a public school. They were charged with allegedly raping two student girls aged 14 and 16.

According to the police, the suspects first assaulted the victims in March 2019 and carried on at least six times until March this year. Some of the attacks even took place inside the school premises. The suspects denied the charges and were released on bail of 200,000 baht each.

Another child abuse case took place in Chumphon's Pathiu district. A 32-year-old music teacher was accused of raping a 12-year-old female student at a resort. The father of the girl lodged a complaint against the teacher who denied the allegation.

Another child abuse case occurred in Buri Ram's Ban Dan district when a 39-year-old teacher was arrested on charges of performing obscene acts on a 12-year-old student. He has admitted groping, but denied having sex with her.

These alleged child sexual cases have gained significant public attention, raised concerns about the lack of protection for children in schools and prompted calls on the authorities involved to reinforce their efforts to prevent sexual harassment in schools. The Bangkok Post talked to a variety of stakeholders including educators, child experts, policymakers, police and criminologists, asking them how the problem can be dealt with, particularly the school gang rape case in Mukdahan.


RESPONSIVE SCHOOLS

Chulalongkorn University's education expert Athapol Anunthavorasakul said the cases represent a failure to protect children and should serve as a strong wake-up call to society to protect children better.

"Schools must be safe havens for children and no child should suffer from any form of violence in schools. Teachers must be the ones who protect children in their care, not the ones who harm them," he said.

Mr Athapol said the supportive comments made by colleagues of the suspects also show how nepotism comes first in the Thai school system, not teachers' professional ethics nor morality. "These men were sexually exploiting their students and treated the school as a brothel for over a year, yet their superiors and colleagues thought nothing was wrong with it.

"It is impossible that nobody knew about it, but nepotism made other teachers turn the other way. Had it not been for the fierce anger from the public, these men might have been spared by the school's nepotism again," he said.

Mr Athapol said although most Thai schools have a student affairs division to provide support to students outside the classroom, many lack accessible and child-sensitive complaint mechanisms for students who are sexually abused. "Most students who are victims of sexual violence don't know who they can turn to. They are afraid their complaints may not be taken seriously and fear reprisals. They need someone or a channel they can trust,'' he said.

Mr Athapol said confidential reporting channels should be established in all schools and staff and students alike must know how to use them. Schools should also have clear referral pathways to social welfare agencies and work with multidisciplinary teams to provide support to survivors of violence and abuse.

Teachers and other school staff can play an important role in preventing sexual harassment before it takes place by observing children, watching for signs of violence, abuse and neglect and reporting it when they have concerns, he added.

"Teachers should make a list of students in their classes who are vulnerable and at greater risk of sexual abuse such as those come from broken homes or live with step-parents or a single parent. More importantly, they must dare to stand up for victims even if the abusers are school staff members or their co-workers," he said.

According to the Office of Basic Education Commission's Student Protection Centre, 624 student sexual assault cases were reported to the centre over the past five years. Out of these, 76 cases were committed by teachers or school staff.

''I'm certain that the true number is larger since so much of the problem goes unreported,'' Mr Athapol said.

The expert also warned schools not to focus on protecting girls as sexual assaults can happen to anyone. Boys and LGBT children can fall victim to sexual predators as well.

"Boys and LGBT children have many of the same feelings and reactions as other survivors of sexual assault, but they may also face some additional challenges because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity,'' he said.

Child rights advocate Ticha Na Nakorn has called on the Education Ministry to rehabilitate the education system by reforming the spirit of the profession. She was referring to the case of the school gang rape by five teachers in Mukdahan.

"I do not come out in public to attack this profession because there are still decent teachers about. The challenge is how to help these good teachers and whistleblowers protect children," said Ms Ticha.

The Justice Ministry is mulling compensating the victims by 110,000 baht each, while child psychologists from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security have provided counselling. The 16-year-old victim, who is also a witness in the case of the 14-year-old, has been placed in the care of a Justice Ministry facility in Mukdahan province.


COMPLAINT CENTRES

Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan said he has ordered a complaint centre set up at the ministry for students to report any sexual misconduct by their teachers. He also instructed provincial officers to probe the school's director for possible negligence.

The five teachers among the accused were immediately suspended and their licences revoked, Mr Nataphol said.

"This is a serious offence and I will not tolerate it. School is a second home to students. If the place is unsafe because of a teacher's behaviour, I have to put an end to it," the minister said. "Under my watch, there will be no more transfers to inactive posts," he added. "Every offender will be immediately fired."


UNICEF STEPS IN

Unicef has called on the Ministry of Education to consider a review of protection measures, monitoring mechanisms and response protocols.

"The review, in partnership with professional bodies such as the Teachers' Council of Thailand, can also help in strengthening the code of conduct for teachers and other education staff, further ensure these codes are effectively implemented, and appropriate sanctions applied," it said.

Teacher training curricula and professional development opportunities should include training about the causes of school-related violence and abuse, prevention activities, referral and response frameworks and ethical conduct.


Courtesy of The Bangkok Post
https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/sp ... park-alarm



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Re: School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by saint » May 24, 2020, 1:50 pm

I was told by a fellow forumite not so long ago , that teachers and school governors were respected pillars of the community .
So thanks for proving that there are always the renegades in every profession .

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Re: School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by jai yen yen » May 24, 2020, 10:41 pm

This is nothing new, just more reporting and action being taken which is a very good thing.

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Re: School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by Khun Paul » May 25, 2020, 6:37 am

While carrying out teaching in Udon Thani province, I saw too often abuse physically of children, ( nothing incurring permanent damage ) , after mentioning it a few times, learnt, that it was a complete waste of time as Teachers have the right.
The Thai culture to put teachers on the Podium and almost worship them and make them semi-official Government emplopyees is the downfall of teaching here. teachers do not care ( just interested in the Pay and Perks ), children are just a problem that has to be dealt with.
Having said that I also know many who try to make a difference especially in the Kindergarten and years P1 to P6, after that many teachers lose it , unable to offer discipline other than a smack here and there.
it is a sad fact of life here that schools move children onto higher levels even when that child is unable to grasp the essentials , those that cannot read or even write correctly are just some of the reasons. It is not necessarily the fault of the teachers but the system which is broken and no amou8ntr of talk by the Ministry of Education will change that, no matter how hard they try as it is led by ex-teachers who owe their position to very same corrupt system.
We see too often abuses by Schools feathering their own nest or of teachers abusing children and the sorry sage continues unabated .

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Re: School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by fdimike » May 25, 2020, 7:48 am

I have been a volunteer for many years in a number of rural and city schools here in UT helping Thai teachers who are trying to teach English to classes of 40+ students K1 - K6 & M1 - M3. I can tell you from personal experience that its' a near impossible task trying to control that many young students in a classroom. The primary problem as I see it is there are far too many students in a classroom for a teacher to handle on his/her own. Many Thai teachers have to rely on a microphone to get above the noise generated by unruly students. Many students are undisciplined and run rampant in and out of classrooms at will playing with their phones without a care. I have seen many Thai teachers who really try to teach their students give up on the group to focus on only those few students who express a desire to learn. Students who are "slow learners" are mostly left out and are pushed along to the next grade. Many classrooms are in severe disrepair (especially in the rural schools) with unusable (worn out) chalkboards/whiteboards, inoperable internet connections poorly written textbooks, uncollected trash all over the school grounds etc. However, on the plus side I have seen Thai teachers do quite well when class size is decreased to no more than 20 students. If you were to research Thai student/teacher ratio you would see the claim is about 16 students/teacher far less than what is seen in the UT schools both inside/outside the city. However, given all the above I have yet to see a Thai teacher physically abuse a student other than a light rap on the hands with a small bamboo stick. i don't doubt the claims of physical/sexual abuse but think they are few and far between but none the less quite serious. The bottom line is there just aren't enough teachers, because the system is broken with far too many "chiefs" and too few "indians". JMHO
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Re: School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by saint » May 25, 2020, 8:03 am

Its not in the elites interest to educate the masses to any great extent , because educated people tend to ask questions about how the country is run , and how fairly the pot is being distributed .
I feel sorry for Thai kids , many of the poor souls do not have a chance , unless of course they are born to the right families , and in this part of Thailand they are few and far between .
Things here will never change , all the time the powers that be consider education is just something they have to do to meet certain world standards .

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Re: School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by Khun Paul » May 25, 2020, 11:46 am

The other side which I forgot to mention was Thai Culture, which as we all know marrying off children to recoup money spent. I know of at least three girls ( quite pretty , who never finished M@ at one school, because they were married off, they were also quite clever even at that age, hence the sums paid to acquire them as I understand .
Not only do children have to avoid the Randy Boys in the school, the Errant teachers, but also the Families both for marrying off and the other abuses that frequently happen and is passed off . Children past M! have many problems least of which is teachers.

People who say , nah it does not happen now, really , I personally know of two families where the girls have committed suicide rather than sell themselves to make money for the family, so it does still happen and in some cases quite openly.

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Re: School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by Drunk Monkey » May 25, 2020, 12:32 pm

Khun Paul wrote:
May 25, 2020, 11:46 am
The other side which I forgot to mention was Thai Culture, which as we all know marrying off children to recoup money spent. I know of at least three girls ( quite pretty , who never finished M@ at one school, because they were married off, they were also quite clever even at that age, hence the sums paid to acquire them as I understand .
Not only do children have to avoid the Randy Boys in the school, the Errant teachers, but also the Families both for marrying off and the other abuses that frequently happen and is passed off . Children past M! have many problems least of which is teachers.

People who say , nah it does not happen now, really , I personally know of two families where the girls have committed suicide rather than sell themselves to make money for the family, so it does still happen and in some cases quite openly.
Proof this takes place ?? ... LINK ??....... and price list KP
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Re: School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by mech_401 » May 25, 2020, 1:14 pm

40 kids to a classroom , the teacher is the least
of your worries. the other misbehaving brats must
be horrific . " necessary socializing" they call it

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Re: School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by Udon Map » May 26, 2020, 9:52 am

Checks On Teachers For Past Abuse

From: The Bangkok Post

Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan on Monday ordered the Office of the Teacher Civil Service and Educational Personnel Commission (OTEPC) to make sure that no teachers or school executives who have been convicted of child sexual abuse offences are able to return to the profession in any capacity.

The move follows a school gang rape case in Mukdahan's Muang district early this month. Five teachers at a school in the area were suspended after being charged in connection with the repeated sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl. Two school alumni were also accused of having taken part, and all are said to have taken video clips of the acts.

Amporn Pinasa, the OTEPC secretary-general, said yesterday a survey by her office found that about 180 teachers and school executives have been convicted of child sexual abuse over the past three years and all had been suspended or sacked.

Ms Amporn said these convicted teachers have already had their teaching licences revoked and would not be able to reapply for work at a school. Nevertheless, she said her office would make details of the offenders available on a nationally accessible database to ensure that there are no loopholes that these offenders can take advantage of to find work where children might be present.

The OTEPC chief also said she had been asked to conduct a study into what drove these teachers to commit child sex abuse crimes as well introduce better screening across all areas of teacher procurement and training to make sure that no individuals with a propensity for this type of crime slip through the net in the future.

Ms Amporn added that in her experience the best teachers were not always the most knowledgable but often the ones who care the most about the wellbeing of their students and her office would do its best to make sure that trainee teachers who exhibit these characteristics would be fast-tracked into positions in schools across the country.

She added that making sure that schools are "safe spaces for students" must be a national priority going forward.


Courtesy of The Bangkok Post
https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... past-abuse

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Re: School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by fdimike » May 26, 2020, 4:38 pm

The last paragraph says it all!!
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Re: School Sex Abuse Cases Spark Alarm

Post by Khun Paul » May 26, 2020, 8:12 pm

Yep believe that when I see Pigs flying .

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