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National TV: Foreign and Thai teachers at Terminal 21 praised for their actions in keeping children calm amid tension of shooting drama


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National TV: Foreign and Thai teachers at Terminal 21 praised for their actions in keeping children calm amid tension of shooting drama



Caption: Presence of mind led to their escape

Image: Sanook


A group of Thai and foreign tutors working in school in Terminal 21 have appeared on national TV to explain how they used their professional training to ensure the safety of a group of children and their parents during the drama of the shooting incident in Terminal 21, Korat, last weekend.


Three staff from AnnyTalk Kids on the second floor of Terminal 21 appeared on Channel 3's "Hone Krasae" show. They explained how they took refuge in a "secret room" at the back of their school on the second floor.


They kept calm by carrying on with activities like clay modeling, story telling and a pretend sleepover.


Meanwhile outside there was mayhem as a lone gunman killed dozens, before he himself was shot on Sunday morning.

Appearing on the show were Thai teachers Ann and Tik and foreign teacher Nathan.


Ann explained there were three Thai teachers, all ladies, and three foreign male teachers when the drama started to unfold.


She saw people running outside and realized something was up. It was lucky that they were teaching the last classes of the day and there were only 8 children on the premises - four children aged about 4 and 5 and four older ones over 8 years old who had been in another class.


The school tutors children aged from 4 to 15/16.


Ann and colleague Tik quickly realized this was a lockdown situation. What parents and other people there were in the immediate vicinity were ushered inside and the door was locked. There were 17 adults along with the eight children.


They soon realized that they were likely to be in there for at least 4-5 hours - much longer than the children's normal 2 hour session. They used their professional skills to "keep calm and carry on".


Everyone was encouraged to go to a back storeroom that the teachers told the children was a "secret room". They were all excited about this "special activity" that the teacher's had arranged. The thick walls of the storeroom made the adults feel safer as it became apparent what was happening outside.


The large room - rather dark because it only had one light - was locked and the teachers took it in turns to teach the children.


Nathan said: "We needed to focus on the job at hand. We didn't want to worry about what was transpiring outside. We had work to do".


Tik contacted the police and parents worried about the safety of their children who were not with them.


The teachers started off with clay modeling, then attention grabbing magic tricks to keep the children amused and happy. Then came story telling like "The tortoise and the hare" and other tales - the teachers took it in turns to entertain the children.


Ann said: Of course we were scared. But we just had to keep things like normal, keep things fun.


Nathan said: "It was imperative to keep the children safe. To help them, help the parents and help yourself so we could get through this".


One of the tiniest little students was scared of the dark. Ann spoke of a lovely gesture as one of the foreign teachers comforted her by letting her use the light from his phone in the darkened room to reassure her.


The teachers had the supplies from a learning topic called "My Bedroom" so the room was later kitted out to be like a real bedroom with blankets and pillows. Thus a "sleepover" feel was created in the room that further helped to keep the children, especially the very small ones, happy and occupied.


When after many hours it became time to escape the teachers pretended they were superheros. One large bodied foreign teacher grabbed a child and ran delighting the innocent little one who told her parents that he was a real "superhero" like out of Fast and Furious 8.


During their 4-5 hours in the "secret room" there were no tears. There were snacks and sweets on hand - the older children were happy to let the younger ones eat first. A makeshift toilet was set up in a corner of the room utilizing three old TV cardboard boxes. That sufficed.


Despite some awareness of the horror unfolding outside this was kept away from the children. No one wanted to leave until word came from the police that it was safe to do so.


Nathan added that it was a shocking event for Thailand. "I have been in the country quite a long time and Thais are very generous people," he said.


"(This guy) was clearly a bad one and it was shocking that such people exist in Thailand".


Source: Sanook



-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2020-02-15
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2 hours ago, Tomy yupyup said:

Shocked that guys like this exist in Thailand. Really. I have found that any Thai can flip out at anytime.

Your last sentence is absolute rubbish, Thais are no more likely to flip out than people in any other country.

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