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Parents are up in arms after teachers at a government school tried to use black magic to find out which of their pupils stole money from a staff member on March 2.

Children complained they were made to swear they didn’t take the cash, then drink ‘magic water’ from a bottle containing various kinds of garbage.

Saithong Khareram, a local village chief, said parents claimed three teachers at Ban Nong Trat School used unacceptable means to find the child who had stolen 800 baht (24 dollars) from one of them.

After no child admitted to the theft, the teachers fetched a bottle of ‘magic water’ made by a local monk, Mr Saithong said. The water contained old nails, marbles, toothpicks, human hair, leaves and rubber bands.

The teachers forced the children to drink the concoction and swear they didn’t steal the money.

Many of the children agreed to the test, though others refused, rendering the trial useless.

Parents were furious that the teachers made their children drink such a potentially dangerous concoction. They have demanded that the teachers and the school’s director are transferred.

Narong Phaowphalasong, a senior Buriram education official, said he would set up a commission to investigate the complaints.

“If the teachers and school director are found to be guilty, they will be punished,” Mr Narong assured parents.