The outgoing director of a well-known public school in Thailand’s central province of Saraburi has come under heavy criticism on social media for holding a farewell ceremony in which students were made to prostrate themselves in front of him.
The ceremony took place on November 8th at the Khaeng Khoi School during a send-off for its director Mr. Natthanan Danupitak, who has been appointed the director of Saraburi Wittayakhom School. Several pictures of the ceremony were posted on social media, drawing widespread criticism, before they were removed.
One picture shows Mr. Natthanan seated on a chair in front of the flag pole and a student representative is seen lying prostrate before him after presenting him with a garland. Another picture shows the director, accompanied by school executives, walking past lines of students, some holding flags and others holding trays of garlands, as if he is inspecting a guard of honour. The other picture shows students lying prostrate in the front yard of the school.
Mr. Amorn Amornrattananon, an advisor to Deputy Education Minister Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich and an alumnus of the school, wrote in his Facebook Post today that the conduct of the school director was totally unacceptable.
He said that he will find out if such a farewell ceremony was the initiative of the director or the school staff, claiming that it was inappropriate.
Dr. Somkiat Osotsapha, former lecturer at the Faculty of Economics of Chulalongkorn University, wrote an angry post on his Facebook page today, questioning whether the director was thinking he was some sort of a lord, before whom other people had to kowtow.
He accused the director of ruining the reputation of the school. Instead of holding such a ceremony, he suggested that the new director should have reached out to the students by meeting them in their classrooms.