September 4, 2013

Wednesday: 4 September – Female PE teacher canes boy in the front courtyard – in front of the policeman who is apparently there not to stop kids being hit but just for show. I confront her. Tell her the law. She says she did not hurt the boy. I said I called Ministry of Education and the police and both said that hitting students is illegal, always, 100% of the time. She looked like she was going to cry. I asked if she’d like me to hit her, she says no.

Was warned (threatened) by an older foreign teacher that if I keep this up the authorities will probably bring charges against me and put me in prison. The old dreaded Thai mafia wet your pants and run for the hills schtick. This is the second time that I have heard this menacing from foreigners about it’s impossible, you’re only hurting yourself and nothing will result but total disaster.

I am really not prepared to take any more of this crap at all. At all. They can have me, with 10 years experience, moderate Thai, Chinese and French fluency, educated in Europe and the US, decent to wildly good evaluations from students, disciple of Stephen Krashen, Alfie Kohn, Alice Miller and John Dewey. Or they can have these authoritarian child abusers. That’s how it’s going to go.

I also went to an attorney this afternoon who advised me that any remedial action would be considered a civil case, and should first go through the Ministry of Education and must be initiated by aggrieved parties, like the parents or the student themselves.

Also, looks like Ms. Y, the teacher who hit the kid in the groin is gone,maybe permanently. But both the old woman who hit with impunity is still there, but in a much reduced state, and the old man who caned kids at the front door is still there too, but he is no longer hitting kids at the gate.

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Record of Abuse:

24 July witness girls caned at front gate for arriving after 8:30am

29 July Witness boy caned in the genitals by Teacher Y – On video her hitting his back but turned off the camera before she hit his front.

31 July – Students caned coming late. – On video. 5 minutes later, witness from outside a classroom, Teacher L canes 2 M5 boy students in her class (my former students – intelligent, well-behaved, not criminals). Girls in the classroom look out at me in horror and frustration.

1 Aug PE teacher, who conducts homeroom in front courtyard beats students outside.

2 August Assistant supervisor A jokes about using pointer to “hit students” in front of supervisor who says nothing.

13 August – See teacher N PE teacher hitting every student in her class on the back with a stick. Got it on video. Very sickening. Other students claim she is “crazy”. Another foreign teacher reports that his class is intimidated by her.

16 August See my supervisor who hired me stop class, walk into the office, pick up a switch, flex it and walk back into the classroom to strike a boy.

29 August – Unknown male teacher canes girl in the basketball court morning assembly for being late or not having homework.

29 August – A teacher in the office next to my classroom approaches one of my students with a stick. Pulls him away by the collar. I follow with my camera out ready to record. She sits him down on the floor and menaces him with the stick but doesn’t hit him. Later I find out from other studetns that his offence was dancing in my class. And aparently this teacher thinks that dancing in school is criminal behavior and so felt justified to beat the kid.

29 August – Today a young girl , a student of mine, 13 years old, came up to me to ask about the law on teachers hitting students. I told her that it is in fact always illegal. She told me that when she didn’t bring her homework on Monday morning that her teacher hit her 20 times with a cane. She also said that another teacher hit her on the face with a cane when she didn’t “wai” or show respect to the teacher. I told her to tell her mom and dad that it is illegal for the teachers to hit. She told me that her parents hit her too and wouldn’t help her.

In another class, I told them what the girl had told me and they said that yes, this kind of thing happened to them too. One girl told me that the TV commentary always complains about how students “can’t control themselves”, therefore they need to be hit with a cane, etc…

A boy in another class told me that sometimes his teacher hit him 30 times or more when he didn’t bring his homework.24 July witness girls caned at front gate for arriving after 8:30am

29 July Witness boy caned in the groin by Teacher Y – On video

31 July – Students caned coming late. – On video. 5 minutes later, witness from outside a classroom, Teacher L canes two M.5 boy students in her class lying prone on the ground (my former students – intelligent, well-behaved, not criminals). Two girls in the classroom look out at me in horror, frustration and fear.

1 Aug PE teacher, who conducts homeroom in front courtyard beats students who arrive late.

2 August Assistant supervisor A jokes about using pointer to “hit students” in front of supervisor who says nothing.

13 August – See teacher N PE teacher hitting every student in her class on the back with a stick. Got it on video. Very sickening. Other students claim she is “crazy”. Another foreign teacher reports that his class is intimidated by her.

16 August See my supervisor who hired me stop class, walk into the office, pick up a switch, flex it and walk back into the classroom to strike a boy.

29 August – Unknown male teacher canes girl in the basketball court morning assembly for being late or not having homework.

29 August – A teacher in the office next to my classroom approaches one of my students carrying a large stick. Pulls him away by the collar. I follow with my camera ready to record. She sits him down on the floor and menaces him with the stick but doesn’t hit him. I think if I wasn’t there he would be hit. Later I find out from other students that his offence was dancing in my class. And apparently this teacher thinks that dancing in school is criminal behavior and felt justified to beat the kid.

29 August – Today a young girl , a student of mine, 13 years old, came up to me to ask about the law on teachers hitting students. I told her that it is in fact always illegal. She told me that when she didn’t bring her homework on Monday morning that her teacher hit her 20 times with a cane. She also said that another teacher hit her on the face with a cane when she didn’t “wai” or show respect to the teacher. I told her to tell her mom and dad that it is illegal for the teachers to hit. She told me that her parents hit her too and wouldn’t help her.

In another class, I told them what the girl had told me and they said that yes, this kind of thing happened to them too. One girl told me that the TV commentary always complains about how students “can’t control themselves”, therefore they need to be hit with a cane, etc…

A boy in another class told me that sometimes his teacher hit him 30 times or more when he didn’t bring his homework. A Canadian kid who was caught with drugs in Singapore was sentenced to 3 lashes with a cane. That is Three.  These kids at my school are suffering 20-30 lashes for not bringing a piece of paper with their homework on it.

4 September – Female PE teacher canes boy in the front courtyard – in front of the policeman who is apparently there just for show. I confront her. Tell her the law. She says she did not hurt the boy. I said I called Ministry of Education and the police and both said that hitting students is illegal, always, 100% of the time. I asked if she wants me to hit her, she says no.

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Discussion with students

2 September – Monday – Talk to 13 year old boy students about not hitting. Show them the video. He says “Not Good” — “Teacher hit students not good.” We have a few minutes discussion among several boys and I believe they feel empowered by knowing the law, and show a more positive outlook.

4 Sep – I show broken cane stick in front of students (not mine) and say that the law says that hitting students is wrong. One boy reaches over and pops another boy in the head, and the whole table of boys reach out to pull that boy’s hand away and say “Whoa. No. Mai Ao. Don’t want that. Cannot.” I want to cry. Very  Great.

Talking to kids and not hitting them is the absolute zen of education. I never had so much success in 10 years of trying.

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