Teacher Relocated After Walkout Over Attack

Following a one-day strike on Wednesday, about 170 teachers returned to work at a high school in Siem Reap City on Thursday as a fellow teacher accused of attacking the school’s deputy director at a recent wedding was moved to the provincial education department.

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron said that Chean Sorn—an English teacher at the 10 January 1979 High School who allegedly attacked Ly Bun Sophonny at a wedding in early January—was temporarily transferred to the provincial education department.

“We decided to move [Mr. Sorn] because we don’t want to waste more of the students’ learning time, but this is not the final decision,” he said.

Mr. Chuon Naron said he had also asked education department director Oung Sereidy to investigate the attack.

“We still need to find justice for both [men] and we need teachers to teach,” he said. “How can I say who is right or wrong?”

On Wednesday, teachers at the high school staged a mass walkout in support of Mr. Sophonny, who reportedly also had the backing of some pupils’ parents.

Mr. Sorn has denied accusations that he started the fight at the wedding, claiming that his colleague attacked him out of jealousy after he topped a recent performance poll at the school.

“The reason why the deputy is unhappy with me is because he did not win a survey where all the teachers had to evaluate other teachers…and I came in first,” Mr. Sorn said.

Kim Leng, the school’s director, confirmed that the teachers returned to work Thursday and that Mr. Sorn had been given a job in the education department’s sports office.

Prom Bun Ly, another teacher at the school, said he welcomed Mr. Sorn’s relocation.

“I’m happy [Mr. Sorn] has been moved from the school because now the school will keep its honor,” he said.

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