‘Teachers should also learn from antibullying law’
An organization of public school teachers welcomed the newly approved Anti-Bullying Act of 2013, saying it could address a problem experienced by an alarming number of Filipino grade school pupils.
Benjo Basas, chair of the Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC), said the law, which President Aquino signed on Sept. 12, should educate both students and teachers on what constitutes bullying on campus.
He noted that some teachers unknowingly commit such acts. “A teacher in Metro Manila, for example, would make fun of a student’s Visayan accent,” he said.
The law says bullying may be either a physical act or a written or verbal expression that causes physical or emotional harm on a student. “Overall, it’s a good law. With it, we can educate both students and teachers,” he said.
The TDC chair cited a 2009 Unicef study showing that 73 percent of Grades 4, 5 and 6 pupils in urban areas in the country had experienced some form of verbal abuse on campus.
In rural areas, 30 percent of the same grouping reported being physically bullied, he noted. Kristine Felisse Mangunay
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