Pangasinan schools stand up vs bullying
BINALONAN, Pangasinan — School principals in Pangasinan province on Monday started conducting reorientation activities on the Department of Education’s (DepEd) child protection policy after the death last week of a 19-year-old high school student from suspected bullying.
Donato Balderas, Pangasinan Schools Division superintendent, has directed the principals to ensure the safety of their students following the death of the Grade 11 student, who was reportedly beaten by fellow students at a high school in Mangaldan town.
Balderas also asked the principals to discuss the policy in their messages and talks during flag-raising activities.
The student died two days after after a fight with three Grade 12 students on campus on Jan. 15.
Police have filed homicide charges against the suspects, whose ages range from 19 to 22.
Balderas asked the school principal to explain why he should not be administratively charged with negligence in the student’s death.
On Friday, the DepEd sent a legal officer to investigate the incident.
A school principal, Magdalena Manaoat of Daniel Maramba National High School, said antibullying was integrated into the values education subject and that teachers were always asked to revisit the child protection policy that was issued in May 2012.
The policy aims to protect children from all forms of violence, including bullying, that may be inflicted by adults, persons in authority, as well as their fellow students.
“The [bullying] issue has always been there so we need to tell teachers to be mindful of bullying,” Manaoat said.
Celia Fernandez, Pangasinan Schools Division 1 superintendent, said bullying should be a concern not only of the school but of the parents and the community as well.
“Guidance counselors and class advisers are also advised to conduct, without fail, guidance and homeroom activities at least once a week,” Balderas said.
He said the measures should also be discussed with students and their parents and teachers.
“In addition to the security and safety measures already being undertaken by the schools, this office hereby directs all principals to design and submit specific measures peculiar to their schools’ needs and characteristics,” he said. —Reports from Gabriel Cardinoza and Yolanda Sotelo
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