Senate bill penalizing teachers who bully students filed
MANILA, Philippines – A bill seeking to penalize teachers and other school personnel who bully students was filed at Senate.
Under Senate Bill 2793, teachers who bully students will be fined between P50,000 and P100,000 and/or face imprisonment of 6 months to one year. A graver punishment will be imposed if the student ends up committing suicide.
The bill seeks to give more teeth to Republic Act 10627 Anti-Bullying Act of 2013, Senator Sonny Angara said in a statement. Angara is also the principal author of RA 10627.
Angara cited a 2006 US study entitled "Teachers who bully students: A hidden trauma," which found that bullying between teachers and students is more prevalent than is commonly perceived.
Of the 116 teachers surveyed in the study, nearly half or 45% admitted to bullying a student.
“Teachers serve as our children’s second parents and it should be their primary responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of the students," Angara said.
Under the current Department of Education Order No. 40, teachers could face administrative sanctions for humiliating students in class, through acts such as scolding them in front of their classmates and requiring them to face the wall.
Senate Bill 2793 imposes graver punishments. Under the proposal, a teacher could face a penalty of between P100,000 to P500,000 and/or imprisonment of one to three years if the student ends up committing suicide. If the suicide attempt ends up in death, the teacher will be fined between P500,000 and P1 million and/or imprisonment of between 3 to 6 years.
The law defines bullying as any severe or repeated harmful act, whether written, verbal, an electronic expression, or a physical act, that has the effect of actually placing the student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or causing damage to property, creating a hostile environment at school.
The issue over the role of educators in a student's emotional and mental well-being was thrust into the spotlight in recent months after a British School Manila student committed suicide.
He was reportedly traumatized after one of his teacher allegedly made him apologize to the entire school for plagiarizing a paragraph in his essay draft. – Rappler.com
Image of teacher from Shutterstock.