Thai public school defends ‘little soldiers’ dress code

A public elementary school west of Bangkok explained this morning that it requires young children to wear military and other uniforms to instill them with patriotism and discipline.

Responding to social media outrage for asking students to wear four different uniforms including military garb during the week, the Anuban Kanchanaburi School said its kindergarteners must dress up as soldiers for an activity called “Land Defense Battalion.”

Just what is a Land Defense Battalion and why do toddlers need to don camo for it? Unclear, but the school in a letter shared by a popular medical commentator said it was to develop their physical, emotional, social and intellectual well-being; foster feelings of patriotism, religion and institutions; and so they would “absorb the country’s history.”

In a baffling move, the letter also said parents must provide a written response to a questionnaire asking whether they’d be willing to pay for their kids’ military attire. No choice was given to decline.

To “alleviate the burden for parents,” the school did offer to pay for half of the outfits, which critics deemed unnecessary and costly.

The dress code drama was first brought to light by the medical influencer Tuesday morning in a post highlighting the school’s decree that students wear different outfits on certain days of the week for the new school year slated to begin next week.

Students were told to wear normal uniforms Mondays and Tuesdays, gym clothes on Wednesdays, military uniforms on Thursdays, and ASEAN costumes on Fridays.

The outfit that drew the most ire however was clearly the soldier garb.

“These soldier outfits are clearly for brainwashing children 300%,” read one comment.

Moreover, people saw the expense of buying four different outfits a costly burden for parents and at odds with education ministry vows to lower school expenses.

Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!

Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply


Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on

THAIFEX-Anuga Asia 2022, Asia’s leading F&B trade fair, sees virtual expansion