Slap-happy teacher apologises, pays fine

NAKHON RATCHASIMA — A school administrator suspended after being charged with assault for slapping a student put aside his “teacher spirit” to settle the case by apologising and paying a 500-baht fine.

Isoonpiyathorn Jutjatham, deputy director of Soeng Sang high school in Soeng Sang district, was filmed slapping a student during an Aug 21 protest to demand information about money the school collected for extra activities. The video went viral the next day.

Mr Isoonpiyathorn was transferred Monday to an inactive position at the Secondary Educational Service Area Office 31 pending an investigation. Police, meanwhile, initially charged him with assault for the two firm slaps he’s seen giving the boy on video.

The teacher was summoned Tuesday by Pol Lt Kittipakorn Thathaisong, an investigator at Soeng Sang police station, to answer the charge against him.

Speaking to the media, the controversial teacher admitted his guilt but said he would not apologise to the pupil as he had acted based on his “teacher spirit”.

Faced with a possible one-month jail stay and fine of up to 10,000 baht, the spirited director relented and bid his apologies to mother and child, who met with him and police for 20 minutes Tuesday.

The mother, whose name was not released, said both she and her son forgave him and did not want to continue legal action against him or demand any compensation.

Pol Lt Kittipakorn subsequently dropped the assault charge and fined Mr Isoonpiyathorn 500 baht.

The boy’s mother called on all teachers and students to learn a lesson from the incident.