"Our first dictatorship is school": Thai kids revolt

Thailand has seen weeks of high-profile campus protests for democracy, but the country's youngest are stepping up to make their demands heard, too.

Fifteen-year-old Benjamaporn Nivas or "Ploy" is one of the "bad" ones, part of a viral movement that literally call themselves "Bad Students."

They're taking aim at the traditionalism that runs through Thailand's schools.

The royal anthem plays every morning, and students must not question authoritiy.

Critics say schools instill more compliance to authority than education.

Ploy is one of those demanding freedom of expression in the classroom.

"The (underlying) problem with the Education Ministry stems from its bureaucracy. In our opinion, it sucks. . .We're often told to keep waiting and in the end, the plans for development (of Thai education) would be stuck with someone, somewhere. In the end, nothing gets improved."

The Bad Students take their name from a university activist who wrote that in his time in high school, those that spoke out are labelled the "bad" ones.

Ploy and a dozen friends from other schools have issued their demands under the "Bad Student" banner, calling for teachers to stop punishing students for expressing their political views, end rules like uniforms and dresscode that they think are 'outdated' and more.

And if Thailand's education minister can't meet their demands, they want him to step down.

"They control everything on our body from head-to-toe, the ribbons have to be of the same colour, the same widths, we have to wear the same uniform dresses, the same socks even."

Those who question Thailand's school system point to OECD scores in reading, maths and science trailing behind neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore.

A protest weeks ago in Bangkok saw students turn out from more than 50 schools raising a three-finger salutes inspired by the movie, "Hunger Games".

Seventeen-year old Peka Loetparisanyu, is another student leader.

"There's a viral saying that 'our first dictatorship is (in) school'...They are trying instil in us that we are only the little people in an authoritarian society. This means that a lot of our rights have been violated."

The students have scored some small victories so far.

The Education Minister has personally met and engaged with students at two recent rallies.

He's also bowed to one of their demands by relaxing rules that set hair length and styles for both male and female students.

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