Phuket school protest centers on flirting, verbally abusive principal soliciting donations
About 500 students, teachers, and parents staged a protest at the Srinagarindra the Princess Mother School near Saphan Hin yesterday (Sept 11) against the school principal, who is accused of several counts of misconduct, including flirting, soliciting cash for failed projects and verbally abusing fellow teachers.
A leaflet handed out at the school listed a slew of accusations against Montri Pornphol, including using his position to benefit himself and his people financially, breaching teachers’ ethics, using his position to defame other teachers, using his position to do things that are not acceptable, and using inappropriate words in the school’s LINE group and directly at other teachers.
Mr. Montri had initiated the “Q home school project”, which requested money from students, however, after it failed risked the school paying a B2 million fine, according to the leaflet.
He had also misused the school’s budget other projects, such as renting eight printers at B1,000 each.
He was accused of flirting with others despite having a family, forcing teachers to donate B10,000 for a pole – size and use not established – and shaming the ones who didn’t make donations by publicly listing their names, and verbally abusing other teachers, calling them things such as a “buffalo eating grass”.
Signs at the protest read, “We do not want this director, he’s crazy about power. Go to use your power elsewhere,” and, “Get out of here, we do not need you.”
Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong ordered Phuket Provincial Defence Office Chief Sivach Rawangkul and officials from the Secondary Education Region 14 office to visit the school and hold a meeting.
Also present were Suthat Kaewpoon from the Phuket Provincial Education Area Office as well as the school’s associate director, soldiers, and police.
Protests continued for over two hours. However, while officials and teachers attempted to talk to student representatives about the matter, they refused without an intermediary.
Officials eventually asked them to return to their normal classes.
The Phuket Provincial Education Area Office and the Secondary Education Office Region 14, which are responsible for all ensuring all schools in the Phuket and surrounding provinces abide by Ministry of Education regulations and requirements, acknowledged that the main issues addressed by the students were two issues: first is the general management of the school director, and second is his personal management behaviour toward his subordinates.
Officials agreed to monitor Mr. Montri’s budget spending on school development and methods of management.
“We do not know how long this will take because it is under the authority of the district office. However in the meantime, Mr. Montri will continue his position as usual,” said officials. Phuket News