Public Lashings

I wrote a post just yesterday about disciplining students in Thailand, but today I saw it taken to a whole ‘nother level.

To this point, every time I’ve seen students get the bamboo, it’s either been in class or in the teachers office. Today at lunch though, I saw numerous students called up to the front of the cafeteria. I asked the Thai teacher next to me what is going on, and he says the students either did not go to class or slept in class (all of which my students do frequently) and are being punished.

The lashingskids lined up in a straight line, in front of the entire school, and marched forward one by one and received their bamboo beat down. The entire cafeteria was silent. It was eerie. It felt watching a public execution. Obviously it’s not that extreme, but the Thai teacher’s logic was, “It is so other students will see not to do that.” … damn. Now I’ve been against the hitting of the kids to begin with, but this one really bothered me. Like straight Hunger Games status, my school being the Capital and the students being Gale from District 12. So yeah, my meal came with an side of public lashings today. Fun fun.

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2 thoughts on “Public Lashings

    1. As much as I would have liked to, it is not my place. I am here to assimilate and take part in their culture, and I must not be ethnocentric in doing so. That is not to say I will take part in the practice, but it is not something I will confront on a public stage in front of the entire school. To do so like that would have caused the teacher in charge to “lose face”, which is highly important in Thai culture. I have discussed this with teachers in private and it is and old and widely used custom. I have voiced my opinions to them about it, but unfortunately it has done little to change their methods.

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