March 17, 2017 01:00 By Pongpat Traipipat The Nation
TWO schoolboys, aged eight and nine, have ransacked and vandalised another school’s classroom in their neighbourhood in Si Sa Ket’s Phayu district, prompting the affected school to demand almost Bt63,000 in compensation from their parents.
Following a report of the vandalism at Prathom 6 classroom at Ban Nong Moung Nong Tae School, police on Wednesday found piles of damaged books and other items strewn across the floor of the ransacked classroom. Watercolours and school milk were poured onto computers and smeared over the whiteboard.
The police probe identified the suspects as two local boys, whose names have been withheld due to their ages, who attend another school in the province’s Muang district. The damaged school was unoccupied at the time of the incident as staff were on a field trip.
The two schoolboys confessed to committing the offence for fun, saying they had nothing against the school.
When police informed one of the boys’ construction worker parents on Wednesday that the school had demanded Bt62,692 in compensation, the parents broke out into tears. They said they were poor and the “naughty” boys had committed the act without fully realising the consequences, pleading for a lower compensation amount.
Si Sa Ket Children and Family Home head Chanthee Sommana yesterday led officials and police on a fact-finding probe to provide aid to ‘the boys and their parents’ in line with the Child Protection Act.
At the affected school, kindergarten teacher Walee Saengthong showed them the kindergarten centre, where the boys entered the school and stole milk and snacks as well as a football, and then the Prathom 6 classroom where they played football and ransacked the room.
Walee said one of the boys had attended the kindergarten previously, which was why the two did not vandalise the first room. She said they were good children but might have been carried away or acted out of feeling pressured.
The father of one of the boys told Chanthee’s team that he had not punished his son for misbehaving but had talked to him to determine the motive for his actions. He said the boy had claimed he only played football in the classroom with his friend but had not destroyed anything.
The father added that he was willing to pay for the damage and was waiting for the results of the school committee’s March 24 meeting considering the matter.
The other boy’s grandmother echoed the family’s willingness to pay for the damages, saying the boy’s parents worked elsewhere and had left him in the care of his aunt and grandmother during the school break. The grandmother said she could not understand why the boy and his friend did such a thing.
Chanthee said officials would conduct psychiatric tests to assess the mental health of the boys and related conditions before providing them with aid. She added that actions could possibly include asking the parents’ permission to send the boys to Rajaprajanugroh 29 School where specialised teachers serve as instructors.