AFFIDAVIT OF _______                October 31, 2013
Name:  _______
Occupation: English Teacher
        I, _________, do swear and affirm:

1. That I am was employed as an English Teacher at ____ School, located at ___Road, ____ City, ____District, ____ Province, Thailand .  

2. That the following detail of true and accurate information regarding illegal corporal punishment administered by teachers employed by ____ School was witnessed and recorded by myself on the premises of  _____School from July through October, 2013.

3. That these recorded instances of corporal punishment are illegal according to the statutory law of Thailand as well as the international treaties entered into, affirmed and ratified by the state of Thailand.  

4. That these breeches of law, the failure to enforce and respect the law, and failure on the part of responsible authorities to apply the law to the students enrolled at _____ constitute an ongoing violation of the Human Rights and Civil Rights of the students enrolled in and attending _____School.

Further affiant saith not.

I SWEAR OR AFFIRM THAT THE ABOVE AND FOREGOING REPRESENTATIONS ARE TRUE AND CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY INFORMATION, KNOWLEDGE, AND BELIEF.
________________    _____________________________________
Date    _________

STATE OF THAILAND
PROVINCE OF _________

I, the undersigned Notary Public, do hereby affirm that _____ personally appeared before me on the 31st day of October 2013, and signed the above Affidavit as his free and voluntary act and deed.
    _____________________________________
    Notary Public

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FIRST DRAFT, LETTER OF COMPLAINT:

Dear ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights,70A, JI. Sisingamangaraja, Jakarta 12110, Indonesia

 

I am an English teacher from America.

For the past year and a half, I have been employed at _________ School on ______ Road in _________, Thailand.

I wish to lodge a formal complaint on behalf of my students regarding consistent and ongoing breeches of their legal rights and human rights at the hands of their teachers, the administration of the school, the educational ministries, and the municipal law enforcement authorities.

Corporal punishment is forbidden by law in Thailand, and yet my students have been and are continuing to be subjected to ongoing, illegal and systematic beatings, with no accountability whatsoever by the school administration for teachers who are breaking the law.

Please find enclosed video evidence of 5 teachers subjecting students to illegal physical beatings, as well as a comprehensive list of instances of illegal actions precipitated by teachers which I, according to sworn testimony, have witnessed personally.

I am appealing to you because the school administration seems to have no interest in reigning in physical brutality against children and ongoing assaults perpetrated against students.

The teachers of the school are belligerently committed to conducting themselves unprofessionally and with contempt towards
their students and the law. I was personally informed by an administrator

“The teachers don’t agree with the law, so they don’t follow it.”

And the local police, to whom I have formally complained on August 14, 2013, seem to be unable to curb the ongoing assaults against students
taking place on a continuous daily basis.

The failure of all parties listed herein to protect these children from illegal and ongoing assault constitutes a breech and violation of the General Principles of the ASEAN Charter on Human Rights, sections 2-5 entitling them to equal protection under the law, as corporal punishment is formally illegal in Thailand per Ministry of Education Regulation on Student Punishment (2005) and the National Committee on Child Protection Regulation on Working Procedures of Child Protection Officers Involved in Promoting Behavior of Students (2005), as well as pursuant to article 65 of Thailand’s Child Protection Act..

Continued subjection to physical assaults at the hands of teachers who have outright contempt for the statutory law, also violates the ASEAN Charter on

Human Rights section under Civil and Political Rights, section 14 which states that

“No person shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Public displays of Corporal punishment also breaches the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, regarding Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, section 27 subsection 3 which states that

“No child or any young person shall be subjected to … social exploitation”

Wherein students both who are subject to physical assault, and those who are not subjected directly to physical punishment are nevertheless still forced to witness these ongoing criminal actions on the part of their ostensible teachers.

Further violations such as these physical assaults listed herein, include breach of ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, section 29, subsection 1, which states

“Every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical [and] mental …health.”

Furthermore, these instances of corporal punishment violate ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights Section 31, subsection 3, which states that

“Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of his or her dignity. Education shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in ASEAN Member States. Furthermore, education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in their respective societies.”

Finally, the subjection of students to corporal punishment, while not only violating Thai statutory law and the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, additionally violates the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, to which the country of Thailand became a party on 2 September 1990, and which states in Article 19

“Article 19 (Protection from all forms of violence):
Children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally. Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents, or anyone else who looks after them. In terms of discipline, the Convention does not specify what forms of punishment parents should use. However any form of discipline involving violence is
unacceptable. There are ways to discipline children that are effective in helping children learn about family and social expectations for their behaviour – ones that are non-violent…”

Failure of the administration of the aforementioned school, the teachers employed therein, as well as the local municipal authorities to (1) uphold and abide by the statutory law, (2) adhere to the standards set forth in the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights constitutes a serious and ongoing violation of the students enrolled in __________School.

Therefore I urgently request your assistance in addressing these violations as expeditiously and effectively as possible.

Respectfully,

Wes

cc: Asian Commission on Human Rights
cc: Offices of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
cc: United Nations, UNICEF
cc: Offices of Provincial Government
cc: Offices of Municipal Government
cc: All relevant Print, Broadcast and Online media outlets
cc: Thailand Ministry of Education

I was informed today of a conversation between the supervisor who fired me and a teacher from England.  The supervisor wanted to know what motivated me to drag everyone’s pathology out into the sunlight, and wondered that “since he is such a good teacher” why would he do something terrible like that?

Bingo. Goes to show precisely that my so-called evaluation and firing was a total setup and a complete fiction. They just couldn’t stand the mirror held up to their faces.

And again, the one teacher who won’t use a stick to beat the students in that conversation included again her wonderment at why anyone would want to take a video of teacher’s hitting kids [illegally]. Without any thought about the fact that adults hitting kids in the classroom is not only offensive, “obscene” was the word I told her, but also criminal and insanely pathological.

How people can continue to justify these things to themselves is  beyond my comprehension. Clearly the social relationship  takes precedence -in desperation- over any consideration or qualitative judgement of the actions of the individuals with whom one enters the relationship. I have seen this before very close to home.

People can be so alienated and absolutely desperate for social interaction of any kind that they throw all ethical considerations out the window, and cheerfully, willfully ignore kids getting ruined and mutilated right in front of their eyes so that there can be a bit of pleasant chit chat at lunch.

Going back to the question, “Why did he do it?” the consensus of the women who fired me was that it was a complaint from M.4/5 class at the end of June. They thought that it was that incident which set me off. They ignored the fact that this was resolved, they never followed up with the students who later loved their new lessons with me, making English films and doing correspondence with students in America. Once our teacher/student problems were fixed, they were bouncing off the walls with joy day after day. And the students even apologized to me in the end for making trivial complaints.

Back again to the question “Why did he do it?”. The women who were appalled that I would contest their brutal and incompetent treatment of my students never could allow themselves to imagine that it was not the students that set me off, but it was in fact their very own personal wretched attitude and behavior which could have motivated me or anyone to make them so self-conscious and miserable .

Actually I found out that corporal punishment is illegal in Thailand in all schools and for all circumstances. That was my problem, that I wished to follow the law, but I was told that some teachers don’t agree with the law and so they don’t follow it. I was given a trumped up evaluation by teachers who had a vendetta against me and 1 month’s notice.

The very next week were exams and half the student body were given sub-standard exams with anywhere from 20-30% of the questions incoherent with more than one or no correct answers. All these sub-standard exams were prepared by the teachers who use corporal punishment. I reviewed the exams and informed many of the students what they were dealing with.

The general culture of the school says that corporal punishment is the only form of punishment. So no matter what the infraction, kids get hit with a stick at the discretion of the teacher – which is sometimes extreme, where one girl was hit 20 times with a cane for not bringing homework.

To give some perspective, in Singapore, foreign drug offenders receive 3 lashes from a cane. I have not been entirely opposed to corporal punishment for extreme cases, but this business with my students is so excessive for trivial infractions, that it defeats any purpose. A kid can carry a knife to class and get fewer hits than a kid who drops his pencil at the wrong time while a teacher is talking.

It has just devolved into a big corrupt, unaccountable horror story with the worst effects being taken out on the students. They are mostly kids from poor families who don’t have much recourse and many who don’t know any different or any better. To their benefit, once they found out the law, and the position they were in, they took it upon themselves to make a very loud issue and take a stand, which I think led the administration to want to fire me, thinking it was all my doing, when it reality it was all the kids.

They were completely, overwhelmingly supportive of me in extraordinary ways I never could have imagined. All I wanted was for them to follow the law and stop caning students who were late at the front gate because of traffic or family matters, and it turned into a sort of revolution – mostly at the student’s behest and because of their efforts. I am very proud of them all. They certainly have learned about a lot more than English.

I worry that the Administration will try to just cane them all hyper-violently after I am gone. I know the personality of those administrators involved is inclined that way but I think that they probably will not be able to get away with it. And even if they try, many of the kids have inoculated themselves and their friends well enough to understand that the problem is primarily with the teachers and not with them, or their character, their ability, their self, their intelligence or their person. So at least some of the psychological fallout will be mitigated, at least I hope.

I am going to try to get another job locally so I can be around in case I am needed. But I always thought that my job first and foremost was to empower the kids and give them information and support regarding the range of their possibilities and supply them with valid alternatives, different ways to interpret and offer advice if asked. They really stepped up and, in the local cultural context, have made something of a grand slam home run. I have confidence that no matter what happens to me that they will be able to take care of themselves, which to my mind is a big part of  the whole point of doing the job anyway.

Some of my 12 and 13 year old students are spending considerable time and effort researching and quoting law to each other and debating ethics and demanding accountability. And they are setting up their own small unofficial ad-hoc committees to educate, inform and support each other. This is something I never could have dreamed of making happen before.

And it was the class that your students corresponded with that made the greatest impact. This was in many ways their self-directed inside and outside school  lesson plan which grew out of their own investigations and interest. They did important leg work on behalf of the entire student body, making translations and placing phone calls and holding conversations with the Education Minister’s office, other government offices and the police. And they personally took major flak from the administration for their non-lady-like audacity and independent thinking and initiative.  That’s the twelve 16-year-old girls your class corresponded with. All I can do is look on with wonder and awe.

Again, I apologize for the problems and inconvenience this has caused, as all I was hoping for was an easy going exchange…

Thank you for your patience and understanding and wishing you great success in everything.

Four things from last week I don’t want to forget, and another from yesterday:

1. After I was given notice, the only Thai teacher who explicitly refuses to hit kids and probably needs to be promoted to head of the department, took me outside and asked why I would film the teachers hitting the kids. “That’s so bad,” she said. As if ritually hitting, abusing and humiliating kids – and doing god knows what kind of horrible permanent damage – is not of itself bad. As if the issue is filming teachers doing it that is the horrible social mistake and transgression. “Why did you do it?,” she asked. And I said that I was tired of playing nice and doing it the respectful way, and giving face and all that crap. I wanted it to stop. Period. Immediately. Now. Not next month when Johnny-come-lately who hasn’t seen any problem with terrorizing kids or metaphorically sucking their insides out like a vampire pulls their deluded head out of their ass and gets around to hinting that on a good day it might be a less than ideal thing to do. Sorry to ruin the parade. This just goes to show how ingrained and pathological the whole situation is. That it’s really more like a POW camp, with constant violence, either experienced or witnessed which can be almost equally damaging, where the most competent students are witch-hunted and threatened, where the authority is unaccountable and completely arbitrary and can make up and re-make the English language as they go along – to the point that the students have no idea what’s going on and no standard for what they are supposed to be learning.

2. The students I tutored in spelling told me that most all the students did not want to see me leave because they felt like I was part of their family. High praise indeed.

3. One of the teachers from England told me he was amazed that a bunch of his students, unprompted and of their own accord, personally went to the director to ask why I was being fired. He was also amazed that another of his students broke down in his class crying because I was leaving.

4. It was difficult for me to walk around the campus because kids kept coming up to see me. One boy who was never in any of my classes wanted to hug me. When I tried to slip around the back of a building, a group of 13 year olds were kicking football and when I walked by they all dropped the game and mobbed me to hug me. I sobbed and almost broke down then, but managed to keep it together enough to survive until today.

5. Yesterday I had to write to the teachers in America that have a pen-pal exchange with my students and tell them what happened. And I forwarded e-mails from the Americans to my students who now have to explain what happened to their teacher, who was involved and what to do about the exchange. For those who prey on weaker people, and defenseless kids, it is always more convenient for their ugly business to be done in the dark. If they think it is “legal” and honorable, then they should have no problem explaining themselves to every other academic institution across the planet.

I predict that propping up Sirikorn’s rude insistence on manifesting her criminal pathology against her students is going to cost the institution multiple thousands of dollars in PR campaigns and manhours expended to try to shore up the complete disaster that they have brought upon themselves. Someone in authority could have told her and a bunch of other child predators to cool it, can it, and knock it off. To take a hike and/or simply chill out with the brutality on the kids. That would have taken all of 5 minutes and a couple of short breaths.

But no. Not a chance. It was a straight twisted psychological power play where the child-abuser manifested her psychosis prominently by demanding with whatever authority she accumulated in that institution that the ingrates therein cover for her rank pedagogical incompetence and continued vicious violence against students.

The fallout just from one incident, has already been that the administration which covered for her grotesque demands has lost the hearts, minds and traditional respect of a good solid majority of the entire school. Including most conspicuously the entirety of the 7th and 8th grade (M1, M2) student body. In the local cultural context, where teachers are supposed to be revered automatically, this is a wholesale system-wide disaster and collapse beyond any comparison and without precedent.

And all that to allay the sick pathologies and follies of a single, mad, severely disturbed woman obsessed with what she perceives as an absolute, institutionally protected right to exercise violence on children.

I was lied to in the Exit Interview where I was given notice for poor evaluation.

After the “evaluation”, unsolicited information was offered to me regarding corporal punishment (with no prompt from me at all and should not have concerned anything regarding evaluations or performance).

I was told “the law is flexible,” and that parents are offered to make an agreement with the school before the semester begins that the teachers can hit their kids or not. I asked how many agree and was told “most parents agree.” Which is odd since I see no official or recorded distinction or any database on who can and cannot be hit. In reality there is no distinction and it’s open season on anyone and everyone all day long.

I was also told that if I posted any videos of teachers hitting students that I would be blackballed from working at any government school. Which seems more than a little off considering that they just told me that it is technically legal according to their flexible interpretation. You’d think that if they were secure in their conception of the law that they would not be concerned or care a whit about any video evidence of any teachers hitting kids.

I went back and checked the law again today and found what they  told me was utter rubbish. Completely wrong. No agreements can be made and there is no flexibility anywhere at any time in the law. All flexibility and agreement with parents caveats were removed in 2005 – over 8 years ago.

This now seems like a wholly psychopathic enterprise run by a bunch of genuinely bent and mentally ill fools – conscious or unconscious – who are making their stake by preying upon kids, and running a protection racket for each other to allay their severe and chronic psychological traumas that they are manifesting daily on defenseless and powerless children. Plus they are backing it up and making excuses for their awful, disgusting behavior by chalking it up to their national identity and culture. Truly pathological and truly horrifying.