ASSIMULATED PRESS 2009
As the police were hauling Principal Soeht away in handcuffs, a reporter shouted one last question:
“Why did you drown hundreds of students in the basement of Tarara Elementary School?”
Soeht stared angrily at the reporter and replied, “Because almost all of those children were badly behaved and because I am the principal. I am in charge and no one answers to me!
A bystander then advised the reporter that a handful of students had survived. After ordering the entire school into the basement on the pretense of an emergency, Principal Soeht had opened some large water spigots. As the water started to fill the basement, Soeht quickly appointed a fifth grader named Timmy Ahwon to hand-select a small group of six of his friends and allowed only Ahwon and his six friends to leave the rising waters of the basement of Tarara Elementary School.
As these seven survivors left the basement, Principal Soeht reportedly locked the remaining hundreds of children behind large gates, then opened the valves on several large pipes in the basement (seen here), leading to loud screaming, vigorous splashing, sobbing and, eventually, silence.
Although they escaped death, the seven survivors were not allowed to leave the school. Soeht forced Ahwon and his friends to live in a second floor classroom for one-hundred and fifty days while the waters filled the school basement all the way to the basement ceiling.
On their way up to the second floor, Soeht required the seven surviving students to hand-select and feed pairs of various animals that the students had been keeping in the classrooms as pets. While bodies of hundreds of children’s rotted in the flooded school basement for months, then, the hand-selected students carefully fed and cared for pairs of turtles, goldfish, birds, hamsters and other animals.
After the seven survivors had lived in the second-floor classroom for five months, Principal Soeht instructed Ahwon to allow several of the pet birds to go free by letting them fly out the second floor window.
The police charged Soeht with mass murder. They characterized him as a hideous madman.
The surviving children were apparently not upset with the actions of Soeht, however. Instead, they praised him for saving them. Ahwon himself reportedly referred to Soeht as “a completely honorable man.” In fact, Ahwon seemed intent on carrying out a command repeatedly given to him by Soeht during the basement flood: to fill the school with new students who were well-behaved, to replace the badly-behaved dead students.
A woman who lived near the school was inconsolable. This is the second horrible incident I’ve learned of today. God help us!