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Bicol school official to pay for students' burned belongings – DepEd

MANILA, Philippines – Bicol Central Academy (BCA) administrator Alexander James Jaucian will pay for the students' belongings, which were destroyed or damaged when he supposedly ordered their bags burned after they failed to follow a no-bag policy for a school event.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones gave students and their families this assurance at a press conference on Thursday, August 30.

“At the level of the board of the school, they have to do something about that administrator kasi tao nila 'yun (because he is their their responsibility)…. They also gave assurance that he will pay for the damage to the property of the children,” Briones said.

How much will be paid? About P19,615 in cash will be paid back to students who had money inside their burned bags.

This does not include the cost of damaged belongings, such as laptops, clothing, pocket wifi, cellular phones, and other school materials, which Jaucian will also cover. 

“The administrator has to be held responsible. We were told that it is just that the method of the administrator in dealing with problems with students is unorthodox. Well, sabi ko (I said), in so far as procedures and processes are concerned, DepEd is very orthodox,” Briones said.

The BCA board of trustees likewise suspended Jaucian for 90 days, starting August 20, without pay.

A letter from Jaucian noted that he would also apologize to students and voluntarily submit himself to an anger management program.

DepEd Bicol Director Gilbert Sadsad earlier told Rappler his office would ask the Department of Social Welfare and Development to file criminal charges against Jaucian for violation of the Child Protection Policy.

Briones added: "It should be an example to all other schools, whether private or public, that learners’ property has to be respected and, even more, learners have to be respected. Not only respected but also protected." (READ: 'Rights-based' education needed to protect children in schools) – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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