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Boy receives caning

Video clips of real-life canings: Thailand 2

With comments by C. Farrell

Eight video clips of schoolboy canings in Thailand.

Clip 1 of 8: Two students get caned (35 seconds)

At a Christian school in Thailand, a priest in a cassock canes two secondary schoolboys. Each student in turn stands facing a pillar and receives one stroke across the seat, while the other stands to one side and watches.

    The boys' uniform of blue short trousers with white ankle socks is typical of many Thai schools (probably derived from onetime French practice), as is the "standing up straight holding the wall" posture for undergoing CP.

    The scene is captured on a cameraphone by, presumably, another student, viewing it from a distance. The soundtrack is slightly out of sync.

    The ceremony is taking place in what appears to be an empty space in the school building, to which the culprits have evidently been brought for the purpose.

    The cane looks a bit small by British secondary-school standards, certainly shorter than the big metre-long rattan currently used in Singapore schools. However, it is thin and whippy in the British tradition (probably rattan), unlike the thick sticks often used in, for instance, South Korea. In fact, both the punishment and the uniforms are quite "European" for a country that was never under colonial control. Most of the Christian schools in Thailand were founded by French missionaries.

    The first boy's hands go straight to his buttocks after the cane lands, suggesting some pain on his part, even though the caning does not appear to be particularly severe.

    After being disciplined, the two students slope off in one direction, while the priest with his cane disappears in the other.

    It is not know when this took place, but from the use of a mobile phone with camera, and from the length and bagginess of the shorts, it must be within recent years. In theory, CP has now been outlawed in Thailand, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the ban is not being enforced with any great vigour.


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Clip 2 of 8: Classroom caning (30 seconds)

In this scene, a student receives one stroke of the cane in the classroom. It dates from 2006 at the latest; possibly up to a few years earlier.

    The event has been captured on the cameraphone of, presumably, a passing student and is seen from above through the classroom window. Maybe the person taking the film knew this caning was going to take place, or perhaps he or she just noticed what was happening and was quick enough to start filming it. If the latter, it seems possible that the punishment was already under way and that the one stroke we see being delivered was but the last of several. There is really no way of knowing.

    At all events it does not look like a very serious punishment. The teacher makes a great show of taking aim beforehand. But, as school canings go, it is not a hard stroke, and some of the class can be heard to cheer when it finally lands, which suggests a certain atmosphere of jocularity.

    Nevertheless, the student is seen to clutch his bottom immediately afterwards.

    The former regulations for school CP in Thailand said that it should take place in private, not in front of other students. But that rule clearly was not always obeyed.


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Clip 3 of 8: Nine schoolboys get the cane (2 minutes)

At an unidentified technical school in Thailand, we see a mass caning session in which nine secondary boys come forward in turn to receive four moderate strokes across the backside with a light cane.

    The setting is a semi-enclosed structure, or a garage with its doors open, presumably somewhere in the school grounds. In the background are other garage-type structures.

    The students all wear their school uniform shirt. Other boys in the same uniform can be seen in the background, looking on. There is evidently nothing secret about the scene. It is being openly filmed on a mobile phone by at least one student other than the one whose film we are watching.

    The position adopted for punishment, typical for Thai schools, is simply standing up straight, arms in front out of the way.

    The teacher administering the caning is calm, diligent, matter-of-fact and measured, taking careful aim. The cane is targeted accurately at the seat of the boy's trousers in each case. This is not a spur-of-the-moment angry outburst but a proper formal, though not severe, punishment.

    Some of the students are smiling during the ordeal, although in Thai culture this does not mean they are happy. All accept it quietly and without fuss, but they may be feeling more pain than they are letting on. Some are seen to grimace and hold their buttocks afterwards. Some of them "wei" in typical Thai style to the teacher after being punished. They look as if they were all told beforehand that they were to receive four strokes each. Some mild jocularity can be heard on the part of those behind the camera who have already been caned. The teacher's demeanour, however, remains entirely serious and businesslike throughout.

    One gets the impression that this caning is probably not a particularly rare or remarkable event to those involved.


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Clip 4 of 8: Schoolboys caned in the classroom (3 minutes 30 seconds)

These scenes are evidently from the same technical school as clip 3, but this time we are in the classroom. The teacher administers each caning after poring over and then handing back assignments to the boy concerned, suggesting that these are punishments for poor work rather than poor behaviour, something long frowned on in the western world but apparently acceptable in parts of the far east (though not in Singapore).

    One boy gets his work back without a caning, having apparently performed better than his peers. One caning is interrupted by an incoming call on the teacher's mobile phone. As before, the punishment is delivered to the seat of the trousers as the recipient stands upright, pulling up his uniform shirt a little where necessary. The number of strokes varies. The boys take it all in their stride, and one suspects they are fairly used to it. The soundtrack is a little out of sync towards the end of the clip.


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Clip 5 of 8: Caning in the playground (30 seconds)

Two students each get one brisk, matter-of-fact stroke of the cane in the usual place. The scene unfolds in a school playground, seemingly in the middle of a football game. The first boy grunts on receiving his punishment. Because of various other shouting going on connected with the game, it is not possible to hear whether the second boy vocalises his pain. At the end of the clip, there is a close-up of the cane.


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Clip 6 of 8: Caning at the morning ceremony (30 seconds)

These are described as Grade 10 secondary students. We are not certain what this "morning ceremony" is all about, but it appears to be outside a school and these might be latecomers presenting their excuses; some are armed with a piece of paper which might be a parental note. The scene has been filmed from across a road, too far away for any sounds to be captured, apart from a seemingly irrelevant loudspeaker blaring messages.

    The clip is thought to be about ten years old, from when CP was still entirely legal in Thailand.

    Boys who fail to persuade the teacher in charge have to bend over for one light stroke of the cane. Presumably this British-style posture is at the whim of this particular teacher; the more usual Thai position for caning is standing up straight. One girl gets a token tap on the head instead. One caning takes place off camera. The boys are in long baggy khaki shorts uniform; most of them are bigger than the lady teacher. Faces have been blurred for confidentiality. At the end of the clip, a boy is seen wandering about rubbing his buttocks vigorously, a few seconds after his caning.


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Clip 7 of 8: Two boys lightly caned in class (30 seconds)

In this clip, two boys are caned in the midst of a busy classroom. Other students are coming and going and taking no notice of the punishment. Each boy gets two strokes each across the seat of the shorts, in the usual standing-up position, but they are really only light taps: the teacher gives no swing to the cane at all. It looks like a purely token gesture.


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Clip 8 of 8: Caning in the schoolyard (30 seconds)

This video clip, of poor picture quality, shows two boys receiving one stroke of the cane each in the school playground. This seems to be part of a longer sequence of canings, not shown. The punishment is delivered to the seat, with the recipients adopting the classic Thai "standing up straight with arms folded" position.


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blob See also these further collections of school CP video clips from Thailand:
-- Jocular schoolboy canings
-- Canings of mixed boys/girls
-- Schoolgirl canings

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