CHR probes hazing death of Grade 10 student
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is investigating the death of a Grade 10 student in Negros Occidental following hazing initiation rituals.
According to CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia, the commission’s investigators are looking into the incident, which was a hazing incident based on the wooden paddle found at the house of a suspect.
De Guia cited police reports claiming that the victim, an 18-year-old male student, confessed to his parents that he had been hit with a paddle.
“The Commission on Human Rights is now in the process of investigating the alarming circumstances surrounding the death of a grade 10 student in San Enrique, Negros Occidental,” De Guia said.
“CHR has always held a strong stance against hazing and its consequences,” she added.
Reports from local police said that the victim supposedly underwent initiation rites for a widely-known fraternity when he was 17 years old, but was denied membership because he was underage.
On September 3, the victim’s 18th birthday, he and three other fraternity members had a drinking spree where he was prepped for re-initiation rites. Police said the victim admitted he was blindfolded when the fraternity members started hitting him on his buttocks.
Upon returning home, the victim’s mother noticed that he could not walk properly.
CHR reminded school officials and the Department of Education that even though the COVID-19 pandemic has forced students and teachers to do online classes, it is still the school’s responsibility to check on their students.
“While online schooling has been the norm during the pandemic, we remind schools and higher education institutions that they remain duty-bound to uphold and protect the rights of its students, and hazing is a direct violation of their student’s right to safety, security, and a threat to their well-being,” De Guia noted.
“As we investigate this incident, we call upon the Department of Education in line with their Child Protection Policy to take cognizance of this incident. Furthermore, we urge schools, higher education institutions and the security sector to ensure proper and complete implementation of the Anti-Hazing Act of 2008 and to practice vigilance in monitoring the country’s schools and universities,” she added.
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