A House committee has approved a measure seeking to institute support mechanisms for public school teachers in matters of student discipline and mechanisms for classroom management, and provide for their protection against cases.
In a statement, the House committee on basic education and culture approved House Bill 58, otherwise known as “Teacher Protection Act”, which is authored by ACT Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio.
The bill mandates the Department of Education (DepEd) to issue policies and principles on student discipline and classroom management, which shall govern all division-level student manuals.
The student manual shall set out, among others, the disciplinary action to be taken against students found to have made malicious accusations of child abuse against teachers and school staff.
Tinio said instilling discipline in the classrooms has become increasingly difficult for public school teachers, and is further aggravated by the lack of institutional support in the form of standards and the permissible and effective methods of instilling discipline.
Tinio said the bill provides that any act committed by a teacher or school staff pursuant to the disciplinary rules and procedure issued by the DepEd shall not be deemed as “child abuse.”
“While child protection is indispensable, teacher protection is also a must,” Tinio said.
The bill also seeks to lay down institutionalized support mechanisms for teachers and school personnel in matters of classroom management and discipline.
DepEd is also mandated to provide pre-service and in-service training for DepEd personnel on child behavior and psychology, classroom management techniques, positive discipline, and other related fields.
The measure protects teachers and school personnel in cases related to student discipline and classroom management, including legal assistance and representation by counsel and union or association representatives.Confidentiality of proceedings and the identity of all parties are mandatory.
The document also lists down the permissible, appropriate and effective responses and interventions to address violation of school rules and regulations, which include communication to parents, counseling, reprimand, and detention, at each level and repetition of offense, which will be administered by teachers, the school head, and other school staff.
Any act committed by a teacher or school staff with respect to the disciplinary rules and procedures the DepEd issue will not be considered as child abuse, cruelty, or exploitation as defined in RA 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discriminatory Act.”
Related: House Committee Approves Bill To Protect Public School Teachers, Personnel Against Child Abuse Allegations
The bill also provides for consultation of involved sectors in the following acts:
drafting of the student manual;
information dissemination of the student manual;
training of teachers and personnel on the school manual;
professional development relating to student discipline and classroom management;
other support mechanisms for student discipline and classroom management;
protection to teachers and school personnel in charges related to student discipline and classroom management;
and confidentiality of complainants, respondents, or any information that may reasonably identify them and disclose to the public during pendency of the proceedings.
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