Group urges Angara to withdraw bill vs bully teachers
A teacher’s group on Monday denounced the bill proposed by Senator Juan Edgardo Angara that seeks to punish teachers who bully their students and urged him to withdraw his bill.
According to Teachers’ Dignity Coalition National Chairperson Benjo Basas, Angara’s proposed measure will “expose teachers to unfair treatment.”
“The teachers are already burdened by many regulations that are used or misused against us. We have the Republic Act (RA) 7610, the DepEd Child Protection Policy and other laws which we recognize and respect. Unfortunately, these laws are used to harass, threaten and intimidate the helpless teachers or extort money from them.” Basas said in a statement.
The leader of the teachers’ group said that teachers are “often misunderstood” when they discipline their students.
“To penalize teachers or call them bullies would be too much, Mr. Senator (Angara). Teachers who are often misunderstood and sensationalized for imposing ‘discipline’ are actually the ones that need your protection.” Basas added.
Under Senate Bill (SB) 2793 authored by Angara, teachers who bully their students would be penalized with a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P100,000 or by imprisonment from six months to a year, or both.
If the teacher’s disciplinary action pushes the student to commit suicide, the fine would range from P100,000 to P500,000 or imprisonment ranging from one to three years, or both.
If the suicide attempt leads to death, the penalty would be a fine of not less than P100,000 to P500,000 or imprisonment from three to six years or both.
Under SB 2793, bullying is “any severe or repeated harmful act, whether written, verbal, an electronic expression, or a physical act, that has the effect of actually placing the student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or causing damage to property.”
On the other hand, Basas said that lawmakers should also consider the rights of teachers.
“We must, at all times be sure that the rights and welfare of teachers be protected in the same weight as we protect the children,” he said.
On his part, Angara said that his proposed measure would ensure a learning environment where students are shielded from violence.
“As our children’s so-called second parents, it should be the teachers and the school authorities’ primary responsibility and promise to parents to ensure the safety of the students. We should provide the Filipino youth the opportunity for maximum learning in a peaceful setting and protect our children from the earliest forms of violence,” Angara said. AC
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.