Hazing News

Sad and Horrific and brutal hazing death in Asia: another Thai death

Here is the link and an excerpt:

NAKHON PATHOM — A high-school student who was kicked into a coma by his upperclassmen during hazing activities died Thursday.

Pisit Kumniw, a Matthayom 3 student at Phra Pahtom Wittayalai School, died Thursday from injuries sustained from hazing by Matthayom 6 students, anti-hazing activist Panuwat Songsawatchai said.

On June 28, he was assaulted under the guise of a hazing tradition under the SOTUS creed (Seniority, Order, Tradition, Unity, Spirit), where he was supposed to receive a class bracelet after getting kicked three times.

One of his three assaulters was charged with assault on July 10.

Panuwat suspects the death may be another case of the well-connected getting off the hook – he says two of the alleged assaulters are the sons of policemen and have not been charged at all.

“Police only interviewed around 10 witnesses,” Panuwat said by phone Thursday. “And they still won’t let me see the police report. I fear it might be another one of those cases that just fades away silently.”

Panuwat said he was on the way to Pisit’s funeral at Wat Samrong in Nakhon Chai Si district.

SOTUS hazing, which has spread to high schools, often involves mentally and physically abusive practices that have resulted in fatalities. In July 2018, three upperclassmen were charged with grievous bodily harm for kicking a university freshman until his spleen burst. In 2014, Pokai Saengrojrat, a 16-year-old student, died from hazing activities that involved being kicked at the beach.

In 2008, a student at Uthenthawai University died after being reportedly beaten by a group of senior students during a rub nong ritual.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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