In his first interview since the high-profile mug–throwing incident on Aug 8, Paithoon Klaengkratok, a physical education teacher at Chokchai Samakkee School in Chok Chai district, refused to comment on the actual incident, saying he did not want any further consequences for student Narudee Jodsanthia.
“Let the legal process take its course about what happened. I’m a teacher. I have love and bonds with every one of my students including Nong Sai (Ms Narudee),” the father of three children said.
“I definitely never meant to harm anyone. I still love and care about Nong Sai.”
Mr Paithoon has been transferred to Boonwattana School in Muang district pending an investigation.
A fact-finding committee has concluded Mr Paithoon did throw a mug at his students, but did not intend to hit Ms Narudee, a Mathayom 5 student, who suffered a severe facial injury.
Classmates of Ms Narudee said the incident was an accident. The teacher threw the mug at the glass pane window near Ms Narudee and 6-7 students but it bounced off and hit Ms Narudee in the head.
He did so to warn the class to stop chatting and ordered some, including Ms Narudee, who had stood up and left their spot to avoid the sun, to return to their places.
However, Ms Narudee insisted that her teacher intentionally threw the mug at her when she gave statements about the attack at the Nakhon Ratchasima prosecution office on Thursday (Sept 15).
Chukiat Wisetsena, director of the Secondary Educational Service Area Office 31, said the teacher would face a disciplinary investigation starting today (Sept 19).
A panel will question both sides and Ms Narudee can present evidence to back her claim that the teacher had intended to hurt her, Mr Chukiat said.
Mr Paithoon has also been charged by police with physical assault causing injury to a student.
Capt Karn Singchangchai of Chok Chai Police Station, who is supervising the case, said he would call nine classmates of Ms Narudee for questioning as witnesses. He expects to forward a report to prosecutors by next week.
Office of Basic Education Commission secretary-general Karoon Sakulpradit said on Saturday (Sept 17) that if a similar incident occurred at any Obec school, the executives of that school must be the first persons to take responsibility and they must report to their educational service area office immediately. He will instruct Obec school executives about the new policy next week.
“We must quickly look into these matters, not prolong them. Dragging them out can create doubt and distrust among parents and society,” Mr Karoon said.
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