Vocational schools, parents meet police to try to stop student brawls

Two hundred vocational school and parent representatives have met with Bangkok police to address the long-running issue of student brawls. Discussed at the meeting last week was the "Different College but Same Colour" project, which aims to adjust students' attitudes towards fighting.

Lt-General Sanit Mahatha-vorn, acting Metropolitan Police chief, said the causes of the brawls needed to be found and that required the collaboration of every relevant party, such as the colleges, parents and students.

An attempt to find a peaceful resolution to the problem will be tried first because obviously young people can change for the better. If that does not work, the law will be seriously enforced.

"The brawl leaders will be gathered at the same place for three days and two nights so that they can reach an understanding after talking," he said.

Student representatives have said the main cause of the brawls was senior students who grow up in bad cultures one generation to the next.

They said there were two types of senior students - good ones who are a positive influence on junior students and those who carry weapons.

They do not believe the problem can be solved although it could be mitigated.

The students suggested that everyone should wear jackets when outside school so rival |colleges cannot pinpoint them, and colleges should install closed circuit television cameras.

The government sector was also urged to continue to deal with offenders decisively. One idea was to make each school's finishing time different, if possible.

The director of the Minburi Polytechnic College of Technology, a vocational school graduate, said he was ashamed about incidents in which many students had died. He wants to see more money injected into tackling the issue.

Parents said bad seniors led many juniors astray so measures needed to be in place to help the younger students deal with |pressure from such sources.