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Mother of student drowned in ‘wargame’ accuses school of negligence

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The mother of a Kalasin boy who drowned during a school outing on Tuesday has accused the school director of negligence.

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The body of Noppakao Sita, 15, was discovered in a flooded swamp at 8pm on Tuesday. Police investigators believe Noppakao was forced to jump into the swamp even though he did not know how to swim, as part of the course provided by his Ban Na Kor Wittayakom School.

On Wednesday, the boy’s parents and schoolfriends plus representatives of the school were summoned by Huai Mek police for interrogation.

Noppakao’s friends told police the outing had featured a wargame in which students had to jump into the swamp to avoid “bombs” – stones aimed at them by their teachers.

The students added that no life jackets or rubber boats were provided for them in case of accident. Moreover the teachers failed to point out the shallow and deep areas of the swamp, the students said.

The school’s director, Suntara Kullasa, told press that Noppakao probably joined the event in the afternoon session, so his name was not added to the list of participants and teachers failed to notice he was missing.

The director also claimed that teachers did not force the students to join the activity.

Noppakao’s mother, Buachuen Sita, 48, said she contacted the school after he failed to return home on time on Tuesday but staff there had no answers and did not seem interested.

Instead, it was her neighbours and the village chief who began searching for Noppakao. When they failed to find him, they called the police, she added.

Published : March 18, 2021

By : THE NATION