Teacher arrested over beating;International;Briefing

21st May 1999 at 01:00
THAILAND

A Thai music teacher has been charged with assault after a 10-year-old pupil whom she allegedly beat over the head with a xylophone stick suffered a cerebral haemorrhage that required emergency surgery.

Only after the operation did Jesadakorn Turirat tell his parents that the teacher at his Bangkok elementary school had been regularly hitting him over the head for two years for indiscipline in the classroom.

Thipawan Wangtong, 45, who also teaches English, was arrested after the boy's parents approached the Child Protection Foundation and filed a complaint with police. She has now been released on bail. No date has yet been set for her trial.

Jesadakorn, currently recovering at home, told counsellors at the foundation that Ms Thipawan had also meted out beatings with a brush and had thrown a blackboard duster at pupils who were inattentive at the back of the class.

He was taken to hospital for surgery, after complaining to his parents of headaches and nausea.

Sanphasit Koompraphant of the Centre for the Protection of Children's Rights said that corporal punishment was still permitted in Thai schools and welfare homes, but teachers often abused their power and ignored guidelines. Children can be caned for indiscipline.

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