DepEd exec urges teachers: Avoid corporal punishment

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A LOCAL education official has reiterated that corporal punishment or the use of physical force, such as spanking or hitting, to discipline or punish a child has no place in schools.

This comes after the controversy over a public high school teacher physically assaulting a student during class. The incident was captured on video and widely shared on social media, receiving mixed reactions from the public.

Teachers must observe positive discipline, as they are trained to do, particularly avoiding physical punishment, Director Salustiano Jimenez of the Department of Education Central Visayas (DepEd 7) said Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024.

“In [DepEd], we are not tolerating corporal punishment. With recent policies and other laws on child protection, in fact, we have a child protection unit... to look into the welfare of these children or learners,” he said.

Critics condemn the use of physical force for discipline, asserting that it can have detrimental effects on both the physical and emotional well-being of individuals subjected to such treatment.

Jimenez acknowledged that teachers exhibit a strong passion for their roles as educators but emphasized that they should not use it as an excuse to practice corporal punishment.

He said it is important to always control their emotions when disciplining students.

Earlier, a video showing a teacher hitting and kicking a Grade 8 student spread widely on social media. Reports suggest that the teacher disciplined the child for skipping classes and having many ear piercings.

In a previous interview, Jimenez said the incident happened on Feb. 16. He mentioned that the people involved, including the student’s parent, met at the principal’s office to resolve the issue.

The student’s mother identified the teacher as Ernesto Cabase, who teaches at Don Sergio Memorial National High School.

However, despite the meeting, the mother still uploaded the video a few days later. Several Facebook pages reposted the video, with one reaching millions of views. The mother has since deleted the video.

Jimenez also discourages the sharing of videos depicting children being physically abused as it could have an effect on the child.

He said instead of posting these on social media, these videos should be sent to the offices that will look into these cases of physical abuse, including DepEd 7.

The education official said that after the incident went viral on social media, the child stopped going to school due to shame.

The teacher’s son posted on Facebook last Feb 23, addressing the incident and apologizing to the student and parent involved. He hoped that both parties would be treated fairly and encouraged parents to check on their children at school regularly to prevent issues from getting worse.

DepEd’s Order 40 Series of 2012, titled the Child Protection Policy, serves as a directive aimed at safeguarding the well-being and rights of children within the educational system. This policy explicitly prohibits any form of child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, bullying and related offenses.

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