CHR slams Kalinga teacher’s ‘abusive act’
BAGUIO CITY — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in the Cordillera has condemned what it described as an “abusive act” committed by a teacher in Kalinga province that was captured on a video and went viral on social media recently.
In a statement on Friday, the regional office of the CHR said the female teacher was seen hitting the backs of her two students and pinching their ears after they appeared to be struggling to solve a mathematical problem on the board.
“Abuse of and violence against [young] learners should stop and never be tolerated as forms of teaching and discipline in schools,” said lawyer Romel Daguimo, Cordillera director of CHR.
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Daguimo urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to strengthen the “positive and non-violent” discipline of children and a “constructive and pro-active approach” to teaching.
Citing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the CHR said children should be protected from all forms of physical and mental violence, injury, abuse, neglect, negligent treatment, and maltreatment.
“We remind teachers and other school personnel that in their exercise of substitute parental authority and responsibility over [young] learners, they must ensure that schools are conducive to education, and the best interest of the child shall be the paramount consideration in all their actions consistent with the principle of First Call for Children as enunciated in the UNCRC,” the regional CHR said.
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In a separate statement, DepEd Kalinga said it does not tolerate any form of abuse toward children and reminded teachers and non-teaching personnel to remain ethical and professional.
“Teachers, as public servants, must always maintain a safe and nurturing environment for students, free of physical, verbal, and other forms of abuse and discrimination,” DepEd Kalinga stated.
DepEd Schools Division Kalinga Superintendent Amador Garcia said his office would conduct psychosocial and guidance counseling for the two pupils “so that they can fully recover from the trauma the incident caused them.”
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Garcia said the teacher involved in the incident has already submitted her explanation to the investigating body.
“The teacher involved regrets what she did and is seeking forgiveness, but forgiveness will not come easily given how viral the video is,” he said.
According to Garcia, the teacher is now “under a lot of pressure and is embarrassed about her actions.”
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He said they had given the teacher a chance to defend herself, adding that the DepEd would assist her in getting legal counsel if needed.
No formal complaints have been filed against the teacher yet, Garcia said.
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