Decibel meter used to punish students not screaming Thai national anthem

After coming under fire in recent days, a school in Pathum Thani this morning agreed to stop using a decibel meter to punish students not screaming the national anthem loud enough.

As screaming songs in the morning is a cornerstone of Thai education, Thammasat Khlongluang Wittayakom School had introduced a “disciplinary measure” by which it would measure students’ volume using an application called Decibel X. Those unable to exceed 85 decibels were forced to sing the anthem again – once more if they could hit 80 decibels and twice more if they couldn’t.

It should be noted that anything above 85 decibels – already equivalent to heavy road traffic – is considered harmful, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. A screaming vacuum cleaner is about 75 decibels.

The measure was meant to promote “harmony and discipline,” according to Winai Pansuwan, assistant director of the school. 

But, after an avalanche of complaints and criticism of what an absolutely stupid idea it was, Winai said the school had now dropped it.


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