Ombudsman clears school head, teacher

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012


TWO academic staff members of a public school in Cebu City were cleared by the anti-graft body of allegations that they forced a student into owning up an offense in 2008.

Irish Inabangan Amores, graft investigator and prosecution officer, dismissed the misconduct charges against Pedro Bagaan, principal of Inayawan Night High School and teacher Ma. Lutchelle Salve.

While they were cleared of administrative liability, Amores advised the two respondents to take “extra caution” in handling similar incidents.

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Complainant Ceferina Celada charged Bagaan and Salve with grave misconduct, negligence and violation of Republic Act 6713, or the Conduct of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, before the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas.

Mirror

Celada, who works at the Commission on Audit, claimed that Salve allegedly harassed her nephew, a 17-year-old third year high student, and forced him to admit that he broke the mirror inside the classroom on Dec. 16, 2008.

Celada said another student owned up the offense.

The complainant also alleged that her nephew was brought to a hospital for a drug test without his mother’s consent.

Although her nephew tested negative of drug use, Celada said Salve allegedly brought the boy to another hospital to be tested.

Salve allegedly told the student she would have him imprisoned when he reaches the age of 18. The teacher allegedly threatened to kill the student.

Denial

Celada included Bagaan in the case for allegedly failing to stop Salve.

Salve denied the charges and said the issue was settled during a conference in December 2008.

Bagaan, in his counter-affidavit, also denied the allegations and corroborated the testimony of Salve.

According to the minutes of the conference, a teacher noticed a broken mirror inside her classroom. Some students accused Celada’s nephew as the culprit.

When confronted by the teacher, the boy got angry and swore at the teachers. The boy allegedly threatened to kill his teachers and kicked a chart board.

The school faculty asked the barangay for help.

Amores said there was no evidence that the respondents were administratively guilty.

But Amores said the teachers should have given the victim an opportunity to explain.

The ombudsman also reminded the family members of the student to give him more love, care and guidance.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 29, 2012.

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