FIGHT BULLYING Parents, teachers, society rallied vs. bullying

Bullying in Davao City and elsewhere in the Philippines, as in other parts of the world, is not only the sole responsibility and accountability of the DepEd (Department of Education), but the whole society, starting with the families.

This in effect was the statement in Davao City of Education Secretary Leonor Briones, two weeks after the dismissal of an Ateneo de Manila Junior High School student who was caught on video bullying another student.

Briones said that parents should actively participate in wiping out bullying in schools.

“We encourage them to attend PTA (Parent-Teachers Association) meetings, because there are instances that it is the yaya or maid who attends the meeting,” Briones said in an interview during the 122nd Rizal Day Anniversary on Sunday at the Rizal Park in San Pedro Street, Davao City.

The secretary said that DepEd had already issued a series of circular orders regarding handling of bullying cases in the school.

She also said that the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 covers it.

Briones also said that each schools should have a committee against bullying, under Republic Act No. 10627, or the Act Requiring All Elementary and Secondary Schools to Adopt Policies to Prevent and Address the Acts of Bullying in their Institutions. 

RA 10627 enables students to anonymously report bullying. Although disciplinary administrative action would not be taken based on an anonymous report alone, bullies are still subject to punishment once the report is established as true.

Briones also said that the fight against bullying should also be the responsibility of the teachers, especially the homeroom teachers.

“More than the parents, it is the teacher who will notice the bullying behavior because he/she sees them many hours a day, and we have a detailed protocol on what should be done,” she said.