Mendoza: Statement on learners’ discipline

The Scribe’s Corner

DEPARTMENT of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla, who is also DepEd Central Office’s spokesperson, issued the official statement of DepEd with regards to the recent case of a teacher-learner and parents/grandparents incident shown in national television just recently and became a trending/viral video igniting mixed reactions from the netizens.

Here it is:

Statement on the teacher-learner incident taken up at the program Tulfo in Action

Pasig City, November 24, 2019 -- There are laws and policies that apply to students and teachers. DepEd takes care to ensure that both the learner and the teacher are treated with dignity and respect through policies and processes already existing at all levels of governance of DepEd (the schools, Regions, Divisions, and Central Office).

It appears that what transpired in the program was a move for on-the-spot compromise: the resignation of the teacher in exchange for the non-filing of complaints against her. In the DepEd Child Protection Policy, incidents of child abuse are not subject to compromise.

On the other hand, teachers are entitled to due process, which was not given to her during the program, especially since resignation from her job earlier than her intended retirement will have serious impact on her person and family.

Schools are second home to learners, while teachers are their second parents. We entrust our children to the institution and teachers. In addition to the right of children to education, their rights against bullying and child abuse are also strongly protected.

On the other hand, teachers exercise substitute parental authority while children are in school. They are expected to exercise reasonable supervision over the conduct of the child, including disciplining them as part of their upbringing, while maintaining their dignity and safety.

DepEd endeavors to provide a proper forum to discuss the facts and issues that will resolve conflicts and concerns in a fair and humane manner.

We assure the public that this case is being handled by the DepEd regional and division offices, through procedures consistent with the applicable laws and policies.

Even prior to the airing of the television program, there was already a meeting between the parents of the learner and the teacher before the school head, and it is best for this process to continue.

We need the cooperation and coordination of all stakeholders to maintain and promote trust, respect and dignity of all learners, teachers, and administrators of schools.

We enjoin all our schools to strengthen their Parents-Teachers Associations as a platform to build mutual understanding and trust in the joint parenting of the learners. As another concrete step, DepEd will be organizing a dialogue with representatives of the media to exchange perspectives on the handling of issues involving students, teachers and schools.

This Corner hopes that this case will have immediate resolution for the common good of those involved. This should serve a lesson to everyone so that proper handling of the case will be done in the future. Let us exhaust first necessary remedies on the case and talk to the right people rather than bringing it immediately to the media.


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