A schoolteacher in Surin Province allegedly sexually assaulted more than 10 children attending his school, some of them since last year, local news reports said Tuesday.
Parents and guardians marched on the local police station in Phanom Dong Rak District on Monday to demand justice after two of the girls alerted their families, according to news outlets Sanook and Khaosod.
Several of the 13 schoolgirls, now in third grade (aged 8), have allegedly been sexually assaulted by their male homeroom teacher since they were in second grade, but were too afraid to tell their parents. The alleged assaults took place on school grounds and at the teacher’s home.
The local police were confident they have enough evidence to prosecute the teacher, the reports said.
Nang Dam (pseudonym) a 50-year-old grandmother of one of the girls, told reporters she was so angry she could not sleep. The latest incident happened last Friday, when the teacher invited her granddaughter over to his home after school hours to give him a massage, she said.
“He would start hugging her and feeling the area of her chest,” Nang Dam told reporters. “He then put his hands into her underpants and touched her. My granddaughter got so scared she ran home, crying – and this was how the parents found out the truth and gathered here to inform the police today.”
“There are many more victims, around 13 girls, who have been assaulted by this homeroom teacher. We will not rest until this case is brought to justice. None of our children want to go to school any more because they are so afraid.”
Nang Sri (pseudonym), a 64-year-old grandmother of another schoolgirl, said that her granddaughter was also asked to give the male teacher a massage at his home. The teacher proceeded to touch her inappropriately as well, but she ran off, before tripping and bruising her forehead.
The school director has promised to address the case as soon as possible, said Nang Sri. The guardians are demanding that the accused be barred from teaching. “He is a very dangerous man to children,” said Nang Sri.
Sexual abuse in schools is a widespread problem in Thai society, with many cases making headlines during the past year. It is also one of the issues the student-led pro-democracy movement has raised in it calls for reform of the Thai education and justice systems.