By: Ryan Elnar
It’s hard to imagine what a parent can do if one finds out that other people are hurting their child, worse is that if that person is your child’s teacher.
We usually have the notion that our child is safe at school when we leave them there, trusting that they are after the welfare of our precious ones. This could be true most of the time but in an unfortunate occasion when this is not the case and the person involved is his teacher, it is important that we deal with the issue in a manner that will protect the interest of your child.
First things first.
Do teachers really have the right to punish or hurt their students?
Certain laws are already put into place including the FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES. In Paragraph 2, Art 233, it prohibits school authorities to “inflict corporal punishment upon the child.”
It is further strengthened by the DEPED CHILD PROTECTION POLICY, also known as the DepEd Order No. 40, s.2012. This policy puts emphasis on “verbal abuse or assaults, including intimidation or threat of bodily harm, swearing or cursing, ridiculing, or denigrating the child,” as a form of corporal punishment other than physical harm or pain that can be done to a child.
Clearly, we have every right to take action should our child experience any form of abuse from teachers or school authorities. So the next question is: What action/s can be done if a teacher hurts your child?
While the first rational action you can do is to approach the teacher or whoever is involved, it may sometimes not give the resolution we are looking for. If that doesn’t work, here’s what you can do.
Document it. It is easy to get emotional when we find out that our child is verbally or physically harmed in school but oftentimes, it is recommended to tackle this objectively. As soon as you learn about the situation, ask details from your child about the specifics on when it happened, how it happened, and the frequency. Be as detailed as possible to get a clear picture of what is happening.
This is one of the reasons why having regular communication with your child is so important. Having such will make it easy for him to open up to you should he be put in an unpleasant situation.
In our home, we make it a habit to have that small talk with our son every dinner or before going to sleep, to ask how school was, any problems he encountered, or even to know if he bothered to share his baon (snack) with his friends. We do this even though he is only a preschooler so that he would have that comfort level to let us know of the problems he may have encountered outside of our home.
Seek support. Find out what you can about the situation. Ride with him in the school service/bus, go to PTA meetings, and attend school activities and events. Use these opportunities to establish a network with fellow parents and ask a few students & classmates about the teacher involved. If the teacher has the reputation as suspected, seek the support of parents who might have the same sentiment.
Take action. With the group of parents and the documentation & information you have, you will be in a better position to approach school officials about the matter. Take the matter according to hierarchy instead of airing your concerns directly to the principal immediately. If the school would still fail to act swiftly on these complaints, then it is time to take legal action or bring the matter to the DepEd.
It could also mean that that school might never be a safe place for your child and that you might consider a transfer or even homeschool, if you can afford to.
While the result may vary depending on each situation, doing the actions above would give a better and more objective approach when dealing with the problem instead of simply going to the social media and ‘rant’ without any proof or detail on hand.
Ryan Elnar is a proud Filipino daddy blogger. He started Dad and More to share the stories of his journey in raising a family. Ryan believes that beyond formal education, discipline and values are far more important heritage a parent can give to his children.