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Chapter 18 The Coffee Session

posted Jun 1, 2017, 6:31 PM by Ratinan Lee   [ updated Jul 8, 2017, 10:47 AM ]


The Coffee Session

—Tṓek Wē̂twíttháyā—

"His disciplinary score has to be deducted due to his behavior yesterday."

"He did not do anything wrong!" Kev suddenly entered the Student Disciplinary Office's meeting room and interrupted Látdāwan when she was speaking to my mother.

This was my first "coffee session". And my parents were called because Látdāwan could not punish anyone else.

I was not surprised because I knew very well that he would come for me. "Tṓek and other students here had never agreed to do something not mentioned in the syllabuses. What he did was just... claiming his own rights! And we can protect our own rights, that's mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Thailand had accepted this about fifty years ago by joining the United Nations. If you dare to deduct his scores, then not only the UDHR that you are violating, you are also violating your own school's rules, too, by deducting innocent student's disciplinary score."

"Kàwin, get out!" Látdāwan did not give up.

"Why? I'm helping my classmate from a bully." Kev intentionally used English word for the word: bully.

"Bunly? What's bunly? Can't you speak human's language?" Látdāwan did not understand. Like I thought, it must be this way and Kev would dig out one another school's policy to fight.

"School policy: support the students to learn everything they want to learn for their own good. I was using human's language, the most important language of the world. If you don't support me to use, to practice, you are violating this school's policy." All were planned.

My mother took her turn to speak. "Well, I think what..."

"His name is Kevin, mā." I told her.

"Yeah, what Kevin said was more reasonable. I paid a lot of tuition fee, I want my son to learn. I have never wanted my son to learn anything outside the syllabus. And now, I want my son to learn anything he wants to learn although they are not in the syllabus. And I can't recall anything mentioned in the agreement I signed during the matriculation saying that you can force my son to do anything like what you did yesterday. And well, bully means bully."

She did not forget to translate the word bully into Thai!

"I think he was using the right word, Látdāwan," said Khrū Thátsàwan, who just came in. "I just want to know what would be the final reason you use to punish Thánát."

"His manner is very bad. He did not obey."

"He was protecting his rights, he had rights to do it according to UDHR. Well, Article One, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Article Two, everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, BIRTH or other status. He is... and I am equal to you, why should we obey you? And don't mention Thai culture, it violates UDHR here."

"I just printed out for you," Khrū Thátsàwan handed a few sheets of paper to Látdāwan. "This translated version can be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

"If this one is really important, then why doesn't the curriculum cover it?"

"Preserving criminals. Preserving Thai culture. Protecting corrupted social structures." Kev said, this time, "And I wish you could find the definition of the word criminals correctly."

Oh... I knew it very well, but I just could not say it out loud. The biggest criminal group's leader in Thailand was the one who killed his brother and blamed the country's hero.

"What's wrong with Thai culture? It's perfect! It's much better than the West's!" Látdāwan still did not understand anything at all.

"It violates UDHR!!! How many more times would you want me to repeat?!" Kev yelled. "It violates UDHR!!! It violates UDHR!!! It violates UDHR!!! It violates UDHR!!! It violates UDHR!!!"

"Based on the conversation here, I think my son was just protecting his rights, so there is no punishment, no disciplinary score deduction, right? Then I'd better go back."

"Wait, khun mā̂e!"

"No wait, khà[1]!"

"Oh, it all ends?" My dad just arrived. He opened the door right at the time my mom stood up. "I'm so sorry that I'm too late."

"Not yet, khun phɔ̄̂! He did not obey me. His manner is very poor and he needs discipline-readjustment to conform with Thai culture," Látdāwan tried to explain more.

"A teacher's blaming innocent teen. A teacher's blaming innocent teen. A teacher's bullying a kid who tried to protect his rights. A teacher's bullying a kid who tried to protect his rights."

"Wait? You're violating my son's rights? I think I have more news for CNN already. You'd better release us or I report this in iReporter~er~er~er~er."

It was the echo from the outside. I looked at the door which was opened, the guy from the music club was hiding under the table with some radio equipment in his two hands.

"Oh... my friend, Kāntànát, is now airing this, LIVE for everyone in this school," said Kev.

"All rights. Dismiss. Students, go back to class. Teachers, go back to class. Parents, thank you very much for coming and apologize for any inconveniences caused. We are dismissing everything now." Khrū Thátsàwan announced before leaving the meeting room.

Kev and I left together. And Kɔ́p was separated from us because he had to go to the football field for PE class.

"Thank you very much, Kev," said I. "Without you, I must have been punished already."

"You're innocent. If I didn't go, Khrū Thátsàwan would help anyway." He said when we turned toward our classroom's door. "Welcome back to class. Everyone is waiting for you."


[1] Khà (ค่ะ) is a Thai word for closing the speech or responding to something. This word is for female to use, for male, the word khráp (ครับ) is used instead.

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