BANGKOK: — The Suan Kularb teacher at the centre of sex allegations has denied involvement with students at his school or elsewhere saying he was “just having a bit of fun” online. He has offered an apology and appealed for his college to be left out of the scandal apologizing and saying “it is just a private matter”.
Now it has emerged that he had two spells at prestigious Suan Kularb Wittayalai – first as a trainee in 2006 then, after a spell at a girls’ college, he returned to the all boys school reported Thairath. There are also claims of a previous scandal
Police have confiscated three phones with naked images of the Biology teacher, Sarot Meephai, 33, and he has been detained on charges of uploading obscene material. He faces five years if guilty.
He was ordered held Sunday for twelve days. He was denied bail and no relatives arrived to seek bail on his behalf.
Due to the seriousness of the case his teacher’s license has already been suspended by education authorities with an enquiry underway as to its permanent removal. The Petchabun native is the first Thai teacher ever to have his license suspended without an enquiry due to recent legislative changes.
Sarot denied absolutely that any of the images on Twitter, revealed initially on the Suan Kularb student page on Facebook, were really students at his school as was claimed. He claims that they are mostly of adults over 20 years of age.
He said: “These are not real sex scenes and the information posted online about them is not true. Please don’t drag the school into this matter. It is an individual matter.
“Some people have claimed it involved Suan Kularb children. I swear I have never done that for sure. You can check. As for the pics and videos purporting to be students and youths, they are not. It was just a bit of fun and the posts ended up attracting the attention of like minded people who are into this sort of thing,” he said.
“The other people in the pictures and videos are all over 20 and I don’t even know most of them.
“I don’t want to involve the school. It was a private matter of a group of us on Twitter. As far as the fact that the pictures showed people in school uniform and P.E kits – that was just to get lots of “likes”. The more unusual the pictures are the more likes you will get,” he added saying that he had seen this phenomena over the last year or so.
“I want to say sorry to society at large. It was not appropriate. Some are indeed pictures of me, some are of other people. I am sorry for what has happened but I want society to know the truth.”
Thai Rath said that Sarot looked carefree and casual, without stress as he was led away to Bangkok Special Prison where he will be held until the 22nd as investigations continue.
Bail was denied due to the serious nature of the charges and the likelihood of flight. The defendant offered no objection to this and no relatives tried to bail him out.
Sarot’s history was also revealed. He was a trainee at Suan Kularb in 2006 but left to take up a position at Satreewit girls school. He then went back to Suan Kularb that is a school for 13 – 18 year old boys in Phra Nakorn district. Founded in the 1800s it is the oldest boys school in the country and counts several prime ministers in its alumni.
Thai Rath claimed that there was a scandal in the past related to Sarot that involved ten victims but gave no details.
An Education Ministry official Chaiyot Imsuwan said that Sarot’s teaching license had been suspended already. The teachers’ council now have the power to do this without an investigation in serious cases involving drugs, the sex trade or improper behavior with students or youths. An enquiry is underway to determine whether Sarot’s license should be permanently revoked. Due to changes in the powers of authorities Sarot is the first teacher in Thai history to have his license suspended without enquiry.
Chaiyot said that in the last ten years 200 teachers had lost their license to teach and there were many more complaints. “This is a matter in the public domain and open to public scrutiny,” he added.