This week, an elementary school student who did not attend the daily national anthem ceremony was forcibly carried by three female teachers to attend the event.
Thai students nationwide must go to school early to pledge allegiance to the flag and sing the national anthem before every school day.
It is the vestigial remains from the days of military dictatorship when leaders sought to instill nationalism in the country’s youth.
In the recently released viral tik-tok video, the three teachers were giggling while attempting to pull on a male student’s arm causing him to fall on his knees.
One teacher spoke on a popular television show on Wednesday that her intention was to ensure the elementary school student participated in the educational system like the others.
In response to the video, many have criticized the teachers and said they should have used their words and not force to convince the student to attend the flag ceremony.
The argument has become a flashpoint for conversation online with many agreeing with the teacher’s actions while others said it was unreasonable.
Those agreeing with the teachers have yet to convince me.
“It’s the right decision to force the student because he was obviously fussing around,” one internet user commented. “We don’t want him to feel alone and left out.”
When has forcing a child to attend school become the right thing to do?
Not everyone feels the same, for some students school is basically a big battle. They face massive challenges to learn new things and make new friends.
Even for some adults, it is hard to meet new people or attend mass gatherings.
School should be a safe space but it is not when actions like this occur.
Children are not aware of what is expected of them in school. It’s important that their parents and teachers let them know that at school they are always under protection.
Actions like this only sends damaging messages that schools is not a safe place to be, to show ones creativity, to learn and grow. It forces children inward.
It is already a given that Thailand’s education system is poorly managed, but watching these teachers giggle as they traumatize a child really nails the point home.
Schools should create an environment that is safe and constructive to learning. For Thailand, that is not true. It is more like the factory production of drones.
It’s pretty obvious as the teacher spoke on television that her intention was not to harm him, but to avoid any incidents that may happen and get him to attend the proper system.
“We had to hold his hands. He may have run away if he slipped, and that’s even more dangerous,” she said. “Teachers have a duty to do whatever it takes to get students into the system.”
Says it all doesn’t it?