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Military commander apologises to teachers

Students gather to demand a public apology from the provincial Military Police’s head of security, Sous Sovanna, on Saturday in Kampong Thom province.
Students gather to demand a public apology from the provincial Military Police’s head of security, Sous Sovanna, on Saturday in Kampong Thom province. Photo supplied

Military commander apologises to teachers

The deputy provincial Military Police commander who sparked a 2,000-strong protest at Kampong Thom High School publicly apologised for insulting and intimidating teachers who punished his daughter for tardiness last month, with mediating authorities calling for a moratorium on discussing the dispute over social media.

Kampong Thom Governor Sok Luo mediated yesterday’s meeting between the provincial Military Police’s head of security, Sous Sovanna, and the high school education department, which wanted an apology from the commander. Luo said Sovanna apologised and the groups had reconciled, adding that he also told those on either side of the issue not to take their grievances to Facebook.

The conflict began when Sovanna’s daughter, a grade 10 student, was made to stand in front of the class for 30 minutes after she arrived late to a lesson on November 16. Sovanna went to the high school three days later to complain about the punishment to Principal Koy Kim Heng, insulting teachers and calling them illiterate.

Students and teachers – allegedly numbering in the thousands – protested to voice their disapproval of the tirade, calling for Sovanna to apologise.

Principal Kim Heng said she was satisfied with Sovanna’s apology and sought no further compensation. “We just want him to understand about the teachers, and turn to give value to the teachers,” she said.

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