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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Battambang high school vice principal transferred for talking politics

Battambang high school vice principal transferred for talking politics

A high school deputy principal and opposition supporter in Battambang claims he was removed from his post for having political discussions with students, though he maintained he never promoted any particular party.

Keo Vichet, who was the Kors Kralor High School deputy principal, said he wasn’t given a reason for the transfer, but claimed to have seen a copy of a letter to the Kors Kralor district governor attributing his removal to talks with students about politics.

Vichet said he last discussed politics in July, and the principal recorded him doing so. Earlier this month, he found out he was being transferred to a different position. “I did not tell students to vote or support any political parties,” he said. “I only often spoke to students at the flag stage about schools [being] linked to politics, history and rights.”

Ny Serth, director of the Battambang Department of Education, said Vichet’s transfer to a role as an administrator in his department is effective today.

Serth claimed, however, Vichet had been transferred because he had a “bad attitude” and would “yell” at other teachers.

Mern Sok They, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association in Battambang, said Vichet had served in his role for more than 10 years, and speculated the main reasons for his removal were because he is a CITA member and supporter of the CNRP.

Article 34 of the Education Law instructs educational establishments to “respect the principles of neutrality”, although the CPP on numerous occasions has violated the law without consequence.

Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

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