More than 20 police officials have been guarding a Sihanoukville high school 24 hours a day for the last two weeks to protect staff from the detained children of local government officials, police and teachers said Thursday.
Six well-connected youths allegedly threatened to take revenge against staff at Stung Haw district high school as they were being taken away in handcuffs following a violent attack on the school on March 7, headmaster Khem Ran said.
“I have asked police to stand guard both day and night to let our teachers feel safe to teach,” he said.
District police chief Chan Dara said the six, who are being held at the municipal prison, are sons and nephews of wealthy businesspeople, provincial and military police and court officials.
The six allegedly smashed windows and destroyed office equipment after three students, brothers of gang members, were suspended for violent behavior two days prior to the attack, Khem Ran said. The six have not been charged with any crime, officials said.
Khem Ran said all his staff are concerned about their safety, although the six are all behind bars.
“Although they have been arrested, they can threaten our lives whenever they are released,” he said.
District Governor Mey Kang said local officials have previously been hesitant to take action against the children of government officials, but that this has changed and the youths are not about to be released.
“Samdech [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s words provided a sharp knife to crack down on all gangsters so we cannot let them go,” he said.
Sihanoukville court Deputy Director Sok Soeun said a judge is investigating the matter.
“We will do our job to find justice for everyone,” he said.