Pupils 'forced' to join pro-election rally

AYUTTHAYA ― A group of Ayutthaya Witthayalai School students on Monday staged a protest against their school director after he allegedly forced them to join a local pro-election rally.

The group gathered in front of the office of Chalermsak Tharathanya at lunch-time on Monday and blew whistles to protest against him after he ordered all pupils in the school to join a pro-election rally on Jan 17.

According to the students, many of them disagreed with the activity but were forced to march from school to attend the rally at the old provincial hall.

The young people also said the march resulted in their school being branded as the “pro-red shirt school” in the local area. 

The pupils ended their whistle-blowing protest after the school's management told them that they had received an order from their “superiors” to take the students to demonstrate on Friday. 

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 21/01/2014 at 11:22 AM
Baanphet; These young pupils had no idea what they were doing standing there, holding placards and chanting slogans. Neither do you. Education should NEVER be about forcing ideas into young minds and I'm pretty sure that some of the parents will ask for retribution. This "teacher" should be fired along with the entire school management for hiring such wicked practice in their school. For too long, professional ethics among educators in Thailand have been deplorable. They've just reached the bottom of the abyss. How worse can it get?
Discussion 2 : 21/01/2014 at 09:14 AM
The students' parents should protest and ask for the immediate resignation of the school director ! I favor productive and stimulating discussions between students and teachers on any general subject to teach students to THINK and to express their personal opinion. In no way, should students be considered as cattle to parade in the streets to support the school director's political affinities.
Discussion 3 : 21/01/2014 at 07:56 AM
How can a school put a political classification above the physical safety of their students. If I was a parent of one of these students, I would be contacting the other parents, and filing law suits against the school, and all parties involved immediately, for not protecting my child's physical safety, by forcing them to take part in a dangerous activity, without parental knowledge. It is a school's responsibility to physically protect students, not put them in a situation to possibly get them blown up.
Discussion 4 : 21/01/2014 at 07:49 AM
Pro, or anti government makes no difference here, a very important principle is being overlooked, and one that should result in firings, and law suits filed against everyone involved in this activity. It is the responsibility of teachers, and all school staff, from the very top directors down to the janitors to physically protect the welfare of their students when they are in class, and under the school's care, not force them to take part in an activity that has the very real potential of getting them physically injured, as taking part in a protest has. There was absolutely no concern for the physical well being of these students.
Discussion 5 : 21/01/2014 at 07:25 AM
I agree, however, in order to allow the often-times uninvolved students there are options: In school discussions, debates & allowing participation as an option. I often read & post myself of the importance of education. How else can the young get experience so that Thailand will mature in the future as a democracy?
Discussion 6 : 21/01/2014 at 07:25 AM
Will you be responsible for what you just said, if it is not true about the students in Bangkok?
Discussion 7 : 21/01/2014 at 07:03 AM
This is a very bad trend. Forcing students to take sides in totally unacceptable. The same thing is happening in Bangkok. Most of the university students in Bangkok are offered grace marks for joining the anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok. How can teachers who are supposed to mold the future generation be such irresponsible?
Discussion 8 : 21/01/2014 at 06:13 AM
"Hats off to the teacher...guaranteeing people's freedoms..." Really? Forcing students to attend a pro-government rally is a guarantee of freedom? Okay....
Discussion 9 : 21/01/2014 at 06:04 AM
The megalomaniac is about to start a civil war. Guess he has no problems with a little more blood on his hands.
Discussion 10 : 21/01/2014 at 01:33 AM
You make no sense OldThaiHand. A: A pro-election rally does not imply taking sides, it's about taking part in the democratic process of voting in elections for the candidate of your choice B: Your good teacher WOULD first have to have students observe all rallies and discuss including a pro-election rally. But in any case your presumption and others here is that a pro-election rally is a political rally supporting a political candidate, which it is not. That the politician you oppose is likely to win in an election is another matter. Best bring those kids to school whistled up & stuffed full of Suthep propaganda, is that the way?
Discussion 11 : 21/01/2014 at 01:23 AM
That reminds me of communist Eastern Germany 40 years ago. At that time ordinarily workers were regularly told to go to the streets and greet their politicians and their communist guests cheerfully. And this is what these people had to do – or else. Luckily these times are over in Eastern Germany and now it will be hard for some people to imagine that that ever happened. Till now I also thought this would not happen in Thailand – at least the Thailand like was before Thaksin.
Discussion 12 : 21/01/2014 at 01:11 AM
The school director is paid to ensure that students are educated, not herded like animals in blind pursuit of a political cause - whatever the 'colour' may be!
Discussion 13 : 21/01/2014 at 12:52 AM
In Isaan it's normal that teacher "teach" Shin politics
Discussion 14 : 21/01/2014 at 12:41 AM
Bravo young people, standing up for what you believe in regardless of what that may be in a true democratic sense, while the leader of the free world is turning America into the Soviet Union.
Discussion 15 : 21/01/2014 at 12:15 AM
Stand up Youngmen! You are the real future of the country for the Real Democracy. Do not let them drag you to the mud. You are smarter than that. Good luck!
Discussion 16 : 20/01/2014 at 11:40 PM
A good teacher would never force students to actively take sides by participating in a political rally. The director and any teachers involved should be fired. What a good teacher should do is have students observe rallies for and against the govt and then have a discussion and debate in class about the issues, flaws and merits of each side. That's how you teach the meaning of democracy.
Discussion 17 : 20/01/2014 at 11:00 PM
Well TS/YS/PT/Red Shirts you have done it. My Thai wife and 4 neighbors (and counting) are preparing to demand to know just who is the adult responsible for this directive. Yes Yingluck, in answer to your question asked a week or so ago, Thailand wants the Shinawatra filth removed from the country for good.
Discussion 18 : 20/01/2014 at 10:54 PM
Hats off to the teacher for being a teacher. One day hopefully democracy and elections will not be such a fragile commodity in Thailand and they'll be proud in retrospect they were in the vanguard of guaranteeing people's freedoms at the polls.
Discussion 19 : 20/01/2014 at 10:22 PM
tsk tsk tsk...another fine example of red "democracy"....I wonder what they fear the most...people getting educated and smarter? One fine day, we will progress, get smarter, not sell our votes for measly 300 baht...that is the day the megalomaniac fear the most...that's the day people like him will never get elected....for now, the law abiding citizens, tax payers and educated majority of Thailand will do everything we can to block the megalomaniac and his terrorists ruining and robbing our country
Discussion 20 : 20/01/2014 at 10:20 PM
Thumbs upp for this students, dont let yourself be dictated by a Red Shirt Director! BRAVO!
Discussion 21 : 20/01/2014 at 10:11 PM
Shame on red shirts, TS, YS and their clans. All got to go.

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