British School Manila faces administrative complaint before DepEd
MANILA, Philippines – Trixie Madamba, the mother of fallen British School Manila (BSM) student Liam Madamba, filed an administrative complaint against the school before the Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday, October 26.
In her complaint, Trixie said that the school violated the following:
- 2010 Revised Manual of Regulations for Private Schools in Basic Education
- DepEd's Child Protection Policy
- Batas Pambansa 232 or the Education Act of 1982
"The case concerns the untimely and tragic demise of complainant's son, Liam Joseph H. Madamba, a top graduating student of British School Manila class, caused by the respondent's gross and malicious mismanagement and administration," the 26-page complaint read.
The complaint was filed before the Office of the Undersecretary of Legal and Legislative Affairs at the DepEd central office past 2 pm Monday, according to Joseph Noel Estrada, legal counsel of the Madamba family.
Liam, a scholar at BSM, jumped from the 6th floor of the Dela Rosa carpark building in Legazpi Village in Makati City on February 6. He was rushed to the nearby Makati Medical Center but died several hours later.
A day before, he and another student met one of their teachers, Natalie Mann. Mann asked the students to write a letter of reflection for plagiarizing a paragraph in a first-draft essay.
According to a report from an independent review panel, the students saw the reflection process as a punishment.
A separate report from the Senate committee on education, arts, and culture, which held public hearings on Liam's death, described as "alarming how BSM handled the aftermath of Liam's death."
The school itself said it saw a "connection" between how Liam was dealt with at school, and his untimely death.
Aside from recommending a Department of Justice investigation into the issue, the Senate committee also urged the education department to determine whether BSM violated DepEd rules and regulations, and if it should receive sanctions.
In her complaint before DepEd, Mrs Madamba maintained that BSM:
- miserably failed to perform its duties and obligations to its students
- deliberately violated the right of the parents and students under the Education Act of 1982
- has no clear policy on discipline, thus violating the right of students to administrative due process
- is liable for violating the provisions under DepEd's Child Protection Policy
- must comply with the rules and regulations issued by DepEd, as private schools are under the department's supervision
She asked the department to mandate the school to "comply strictly with DepEd rules and regulations, to seek prior recognition from DepEd, and to impose penalties and sanctions relative thereto." (READ: DepEd: BSM may face sanctions over Liam Madamba's death)
Liam's death happened just as the school – established in 1976 – is seeking an official recognition from the State through Senate Bill (SB) 2147.
After the Senate committee hearings, a substitute bill – SB 2975 – was submitted to indicate that BSM, even as an educational institution of international character, must also be subject to applicable government laws, rules, and regulations.
BSM head Simon Mann told Rappler in an earlier interview that a republic act is a "firmer foundation" for the school compared to a memorandum of agreement with the education department, which has to be renewed "when required." – Rappler.com