Mother defends daughter, 14, over 'romance' with school director, 51

PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

BANGKOK - The mother of the 14-year-old Mathayom 2 schoolgirl at the centre of an alleged inappropriate romantic relationship scandal with a 51-year-old school director in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Bua Yai district said on Wednesday that she was puzzled by the claims.

The mother, whose name was withheld to protect the girl’s identity, said she didn’t believe her daughter would behave that way, and that an “unfair” allegation had been brought forward “against an innocent teenage girl” by the mother of the girl’s Mathayom 3 ex-boyfriend.

She said she would wait to hear from the daughter about what really happened, and would not take any legal action against the school director yet.

Meanwhile, Ban Patong Thanoen Samakkee School director Nathapop Boonthongtho – who was transferred immediately on Tuesday to an inactive post pending a disciplinary panel investigation – has not been seen this week.

Nor has the girl, whose 40-year-old mother said was currently staying with a relative in Sakhon Nakhon.

The Nakhon Ratchasima Primary Education Service Area Office 6 has launched an investigation into the allegation, which could lead to the man’s dismissal from the civil service. He might also face criminal charges if deemed guilty.

Education office deputy director Supapongsa Chantharang, who led the investigation’s preliminary fact-finding panel, said on Wednesday that his team had interviewed four members of the school committee, the ex-boyfriend and two close friends to the girl.

They had found some grounds suggesting Nathapop had demonstrated inappropriate behaviour towards the girl.

He said Nathapop allegedly paid special attention to the girl and often took her out alone.

Supapongsa said the team would interview more teachers and students to get details.

He urged the girl to talk to his team so they “could directly hear from the damaged person”.

Nathapop should also explain his side of story to ensure justice to all parties, Supapongsa said.

Nathapop has called in sick and has not presented himself for his new duties at Nakhon Ratchasima Primary Education Service Area Office 6.