Bill seeking to protect teachers vs attacks, false accusations filed in Senate
MANILA, Philippines — A measure seeking to protect teachers and other school personnel against false and malicious accusations, which could destroy their reputation, has been filed in the Senate.
Senator Leila de Lima filed on Monday Senate Bill No. 2477 which institutionalizes support mechanisms for public school teachers and school personnel in matters of student discipline and mechanisms for classroom management.
“With the advent of technology and social media, teachers, along with other school personnel, have become vulnerable to attacks and malicious and false accusations,” De Lima said in a statement.
“While the protection of children must always be upheld, the scales of justice also dictate that teachers and school personnel must be clothed with the same mantle of protection,” she added.
De Lima cited an incident in 2019 where a teacher was pressured to quit her job and give up her license on national television for millions of people to witness. She recalled that the video became viral and made the teacher an easy target for internet trolling and bashing.
The opposition senator said similar incidents to this, where teachers are punished or forced to lose their job and standing in the community without the benefit of due process, are what the proposed measure intends to prevent.
“We can no longer allow our teachers to be subjected to similar attacks that threaten their role in raising the youth of this nation,” she said.
“They cannot be expected to help bring up and look after students with the risk of being humiliated for merely doing their job. We have to acknowledge that in discharging their functions, they cannot be intimidated by the possibility of being subjected to false and malicious accusations,” she added.
Under the bill, the Department of Education (DepEd) is tasked to formulate guidelines for classroom management for teachers and school personnel.
The guidelines should include rules and regulations to be observed and the rights and responsibilities of teaching and non-teaching personnel, as well as permissible, appropriate, and effective responses and interventions that will address violations of school rules and regulations to be administered by teachers and other school staff.
A clear description of the disciplinary procedure and clear designation of the authorities competent to investigate, propose, and apply the responses and interventions should also be included in the guidelines.
De Lima said teachers “must be afforded with enough power to discipline the students within the bounds of law without the fear of becoming prey to the wrath of trial by publicity.”
The proposed measure also tasks DepEd to provide teachers the appropriate pre-service and in-service training on child behavior and psychology, classroom management techniques, positive discipline, and other related fields.
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