Do we have an effective bullying and child protection program in Philippine schools?
In my opinion, it’s too early to say, the rise of reported bullying cases is a consequence of the reporting requirements of the law. Bullying cases is rampant, however, it remain under reported prior to the anti-bullying act. This is understandable, since no parents or even school administration would like his/her family or school to be famous because of bullying.
Schools, however, to mitigate the effects and reduce the incidence of bullying, should comply with the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Anti-bullying law of 2013 to address the root causes of bullying. And the important ones, aside from the reporting requirements, are as follows:
- Schools to have prevention program that is comprehensive, multi-faceted, and shall involve all education stakeholders and personnel. This may contain:
- Positive school climate/environment
- Periodic assessment and monitoring of bullying behaviors
- Periodic review of manual of conduct for both students and personnel, in relation to bullying
- Activities on the issue for students, personnel and service providers
- Personnel development
- Coordination with LGUs and other stakeholders
- Classroom initiatives
- Activities involving parents
- Schools to have intervention programs to ensure continuity of policies. These may include:
- Corrective and preventive, rather than punitive, measures
- Students have a duty to intervene to protect the victim, unless the same jeopardizes their safety/security
- The Child Protection Committee (CPC) established by DepEd Order 40 shall also be the Anti-Bullying Committee
- Composition of Committee:
- School Head/Admin-Chair
- Guidance Counselor/Teacher-Vice Chair
- Rep of teachers designated by faculty
- Rep of parents as designated by PTA
- Rep of students, except in kinder, as designated by student council-optional for private schools
- Rep from community as designated by Punong Barangay, preferably from the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC)
- Jurisdiction for complaints of bullying and other acts under the IRR: exclusive: DepEd or private school and not subject to barangay settlement
- Procedures must include:
- Immediate responses-ANYONE who has personal knowledge must immediately call the attention of ANY school personnel
- School personnel once notified is expected to intervene:
- Stop the bullying immediately
- Remove students from harm and provide medical attention if needed
- Bring the bully to the Guidance Office or designated personnel
- Anonymous reporting to be entertained
- Person reporting to be afforded protection
- Fact-finding and documentation:
- Designated school official to:
- Interview parties involved separately
- Assess threat level, devise intervention strategies
- Inform parents of both parties of the steps to be taken
- Make recommendations to CPC
- Designated school official to:
- CPC to determine the intervention programs for parties involved.
- Schools may refer parties to trained professionals outside the school
- Disciplinary measures must be according to nature, gravity of the bullying and attendant circumstances
- Due process must be observed
- Community service may be a form of punishment if the same is in the rules and regulations of the school
- CPC supervises the intervention programs
- On due process:
- Student and his parents to be informed IN WRITING of the complaint
- Student to be given the opportunity to answer with assistance of parents/guardians
- Decision of the school head shall be IN WRITING, stating the basis thereof
- School head’s decision may be appealed to Division Office of DepEd
- False accusation of bullying also to be sanctioned
- Bullying incidents are confidential and breach thereof by school personnel is likewise sanctioned
As parent, are you satisfied with the compliance of your kid’s school to the anti-bullying law? Share your thoughts at the comment section!
About the author
Sonnie is an experienced strategist for employer branding and communications; and people/ organization management and development.
He also received two awards, one for his advocacy on digital accountability, and another for the use of blog for mentoring.
He co-founded Blogwatch in 2009. Thru this initiative, bloggers voice were heard in convo involving national issues.
He co- founded LODI Inc. (Learning and Organization Development, Inc.) in 2018 as an offshoot to his year long #HRMentoring program.