DepED Child Protection Policy – What You Need to Know
DepED Order No. 40, s. 2012
“POLICY AND GUIDELINES ON PROTECTING CHILDREN IN SCHOOL FROM ABUSE, VIOLENCE, EXPLOITATION, DISCRIMINATION, BULLYING AND OTHER FORMS OF ABUSE”
DepED Child Protection Policy
The policy aim to protect the child from all forms of violence that may be inflicted by adults, persons in authority as well as their fellow students, including bullying.
To provide special protection to children who are gravely threatened or endangered by circumstances which affect their normal development and over which they have no control, and to assist the concerned agencies in their rehabilitation.
To ensure that such special protection from all forms of abuse and exploitation and care as is necessary for the child’s well-being, taking into account the primary rights and duties of parents, legal guardians, or other individuals who are legally responsible and exercise custody over the child.
Zero tolerance for any act of child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, bullying and other forms of abuse.
The policy guidelines have listed down the specific acts that constitute child abuse and violence which public and private schools cases used as a guide in addressing this social problem.
Physical, Verbal and Sexual Abuse and Violence inflicted by Teachers & Other School Personnel
- 3 out of 10 children in Grades 1-3 and almost 5 out of 10 from high school experience physical violence (such as pinching and hitting) committed by teachers;
- Approximately 4 out of 10 children in Grades 1-3 and 7 out of 10 in higher grade levels have complained of verbal abuse by their teachers;
- 36.53 % of children in Grades 4-6 and 42. 88% of high school students surveyed indicated they have experienced verbal sexual violence in school and 11.95% of children in Grades 4-6 and 17.60% of high school students have experienced inappropriate touching.
Physical, Verbal and Sexual Abuse and Violence Among Children, (i.e. Bullying, etc.)
- 73.58% of children in Grades 4-6 and 78.36% in high school surveyed in urban areas have suffered verbal abuse violence from their peers;
- 30.17% of children in Grades 4-6 and 37.57% in high school surveyed in rural areas have experienced physical abuse or violence committed by their peers;
- 26.74% of children in Grades 4-6 and 43. 71% in high school in urban areas surveyed have experienced verbal sexual abuse committed by their peers and 9.65% of Grades 4-6 and 17.71 of high school students experienced inappropriate touching.
Source: “Towards A Child-Friendly Education Environment”,
PWU-CWC-UNICEF for Plan Philippines in 2009
Section 3 (2) Article XV of the 1987 Constitution
- the state shall defend the right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development.
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
- aims to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment maltreatment and exploitation, including sexual abuse.
- refers to any person below eighteen (18) years of age or those over but are unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination of physical or mental disability or condition (RA 7610).
includes pupils or students who may be eighteen (18) years of age or older but are in school.
CHILDREN IN SCHOOL
- refers to bonafide pupils, students or learners who are enrolled in the basic education system, whether regular, irregular, transferee or repeater, including those who have been temporarily out of school, who are in the school or learning centers premises or participating in school sanctioned activities.
PUPIL, STUDENT OR LEARNER
- means a child who regularly attends classes in any level of the basic education system, under the supervision of a teacher or facilitator.
- Corporal Punishment
- Other Forms of Abuse
– refers to the maltreatment of a child whether habitual or not, which includes the following :
- Psychological or physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment.
- Any act or deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth dignity of a child as a human being.
- Unreasonable deprivation of the child’s basic needs for survival such as food and shelter; or
- Failure to immediately give medical treatment to an injured child resulting in serious impairment of his or her growth and development or in the child’s permanent in capacity or death. (section 3 (b) RA 7610)
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST CHILDREN
– refers to an act of exclusion, distinction, restriction or preference which is based on any ground such as age, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, being inflicted by AIDS, being pregnant, being a child in conflict with the law, being a child with disability or other status or condition, and which has the purpose or affect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by all persons on an equal footing, of all rights and freedom.
– refers to a kind of punishment or penalty imposed for an alleged or actual offense, which is carried out or inflicted, for the purpose of discipline, training or control, by a teacher, school administrator, an adult, or any other child who has been given or has assumed authority or responsibility for punishment or discipline. It includes physical, humiliating or degrading punishment, including but not limited to the following :
- Blows such as, but not limited to, beating, kicking, hitting, slapping, or lashing, of any part of a child’s body, with or without the use of an instrument such as, but not limited to a cane, broom, stick, whip or belt;
- Striking of a child’s face or head, such being declared as a “no contract zone”;
- Pulling hair, shaking, twisting joints, cutting or piercing skin, dragging, pushing or throwing of a child;
- Forcing a child to perform physically painful or damaging acts such as, but not limited to, holding a weight or weights for an extended period and kneeling on stones, salt, pebbles or other objects;
- Deprivation of a child’s physical needs as a form of punishment;
- Deliberate exposure to fire, ice water, smoke, sunlight, rain, pepper, alcohol, or forcing the child to swallow substances, dangerous chemicals, and other materials that can cause discomfort or threaten the child’s health, safety and sense of security such as, but not limited to insecticides, excrement or urine;
- Tying up a child;
- Confinement, imprisonment or depriving the liberty of a child;
- Verbal abuse or assaults, including intimidation or threat of bodily harm, swearing or cursing, ridiculing or denigrating the child;
- Forcing a child to swear a sign, to undress or disrobe, or put on anything that will make a child look or feel foolish, which belittles or humiliates the child in front of others;
- Permanent confiscation of personal property of pupils, students or learners, except when such pieces of property pose a danger to the child or to others, and
- Other analogous acts.
– refers to the use of children for someone else’s advantage, gratification or profit resulting in an unjust, cruel and harmful treatment of the child.
Two forms :
- Sexual exploitation – abuse of position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes.
- Economic exploitation – use of the child in work or other activities for the benefit of others.
VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN COMMITTED IN SCHOOLS
– refers to a single act or a series of acts committed by school administrators, academic and non-academic personnel against a child which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering or other abuses including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty. It includes, but is not limited to the following acts :
- Physical violence – bodily or physical harm. It includes assigning tasks which are hazardous to their physical well-being.
- Sexual violence – acts that sexual in nature. It includes, but not limited to : rape, sexual harassment, forcing the child to watch obsence or indicent shows, forcing the child to engage in sexual activity.
- Psychological violence – acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of the child.
- Other acts of violence of a physical, sexual or psychological nature that are prejudicial to the best interest of the child.
BULLYING OR PEER ABUSE
– is committed when a student commits an act or a series of acts directed towards another student, or a series of single acts directed towards several students in a school setting or a place of learning, which results in physical and mental abuse, harassment, intimidation, or humiliation.
- Threats to inflict a wrong upon a person, honor or property of the person or on his or her family;
- Stalking or constantly following or pursuing a person in his or her daily activities, with unwanted and obsessive attention;
- Taking of property;
- Public humiliation, or public and malicious imputation of a crime or of a vice or defect, whether real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause dishonor, discredit or expose a person to contempt;
- Deliberate destruction or defacement of, or damage to the child’s property;
- Physical violence committed upon a student, which may or may not result to harm or injury, with or without the act of weapon. Such violence may be in the form of mauling, hitting, punching, kicking, throwing things at the student, pinching, spanking, or other similar acts;
- Demanding or requiring sexual or monetary favors or exacting money or property from a pupil or student; and
- Restraining the liberty and freedom of a pupil or student.
– is any conduct which results to harassment, intimidation, or humiliation, through electronic means or other technology, such as, but not limited to texting, email, instant messaging, chatting, internet, social networking websites or other platforms or formats.
PROCEDURES IN HANDLING BULLYING INCIDENTS IN SCHOOLS
- it shall be acted upon by the School Head who shall inform the parents or guardians of the victim and offending child;
- the incident will be referred to the Child Protection Committee for counseling and other intervention.
- If warranted, penalties may be imposed by the School Head.
1st Offense – reprimand
2nd offense and subsequent time – suspension for not more than one (1) week (this is after the offending child has received counseling or other interventions)
Note: during the period of suspension, the offending child and the parents or guardians may be required to attend further seminars and counseling.
In all cases where the imposable penalty on the offending child is suspension, exclusion or expulsion, the following minimum requirements of due process shall be complied with :
- The child and the parents or guardians must be informed of the complaint in writing;
- The child shall be given the opportunity to answer the complaint in writing, with the assistance of the parents or guardians;
- The decision of the school head must be writing, stating the facts and the reasons for the decisions;
- The decision of the school head may be appealed as provided in existing rules of the Department.
If the bullying or peer abuse resulted in serious physical injuries or death, whenever appropriate, the case shall be dealth with in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 7610 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Depending on the gravity of the bullying committed by any pupil, student or learner, the school may impose other non-disciplinary measures.
HOUSE BILL No. 5496“Anti-Bullying Act of 2012”
Approved in the Senate and House of Representatives on June 7, 2013
- It empowers the DepED to penalize schools that do not stop bullying or sanction bullies.
- Authorize schools to impose sanctions on student bullies.
All elementary and high schools would be required to adopt anti-bullying policies and sanctions, which would apply to prohibited acts committed within their campuses at school sponsored activities, whether done on or off school grounds, school bus stops, school buses, or other properties owned or leased by the school.
- A bully would be required to undergo rehabilitation by the school, together with his or her parents.
- Schools would maintain a public record of bullies and their offenses.
- The bill mandates the Secretary of Education to issue the implementing rules and regulations.
Authors: Senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Antonio Trillanes IV, Meriam Santiago.
House of Representatives : the late Salvador Escudero III Mitzi Cajayon, 3 part-list reps.
POSITIVE AND NON-VIOLENT DISCIPLINE OF CHILDREN
– is a way of thinking and a holistic, constructive and pro-active approach to teaching that helps children develop appropriate thinking and behavior in the short and long-term and fosters self-discipline. It is based on the fundamental principle that children begins with setting the long-term goals or impacts that teachers want to have on their students’ adult lives, and using everyday situations and challenges to teach life-long skills and values to students.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Develop policy and guidelines for the prevention of violence against children in schools and make these available to all schools;
- Conduct a nationwide information dissemination;
- Devise programs, campaigns and activities;
- Formulate a system of standard reporting of cases;
- The Secretary exercise disciplinary jurisdiction
- Encourage and support advocacy campaigns;
- Consolidate reports on incidents and cases;
- Monitor and evaluate the implementation of CPC
- Exercise disciplinary jurisdiction
- Give recommendation to the Central Office
- Conduct information dissemination activities
- Organize and conduct capacity building activities for the members of the Child Protection Committee
- Develop strategies to address the risk factors
- Consolidate reports
- Exercise disciplinary jurisdiction
- Give recommendations to the Regional Office
All school heads shall have the following duties and responsibilities :
- ensure the institution of effective child protection policies and procedures, and monitor compliance thereof;
- ensure that the school adopts a child protection policy;
- organize and convene the Child Protection Committee of the school;
- ensure that all pupils, students or learners, school personnel, parents, guardians or custodians, and visitors and guests are made aware of Child Protection Policy;
- conduct capacity building activities for the members of the Child Protection Committee;
- conduct disciplinary proceedings;
- maintain a record of all proceedings;
- coordinate with the appropriate government and non-governmental organizations
All public and private elementary and secondary schools shall establish a CHILD PROTECTION COMMITTEE
- Chairperson : School Head/Administrator
- Vice-Chair : Guidance Counselor/Teacher
- Members : Rep. Of the Teachers as designated by the Faculty Club
- Rep. of the Parents as designated by the PTA
- Rep. of pupils, students and learners as designated by the the Supreme Student Council
- Rep. from the Community as designated by the Punong Brgy., preferably a member of the Brgy. Council for the Protection of Children
Functions of Child Protection Committee
- draft a school child protection policy with a code of conduct and a plan to ensure child protection and safety, which shall be reviewed every 3 years;
(template will be provided)
- initiate information dissemination programs and organize activities for the protection of children from abuse;
- develop and implement a school-based referral and monitoring system; (template will be provided)
- give assistance to parents or guardians, whenever necessary;
- coordinate closely with the PNP, DSWD, NGOs and other non-governmental institutions;
- monitor implementation of positive measures and effective procedures;
- ensure that children’s right to be heard are respected and upheld in all matters and procedures affecting their welfare.
RULES AND PROCEEDINGS IN HANDLING CHILD ABUSE, EXPLOITATION, VIOLENCE AND DISCRIMINATION CASES
Complaint against school personnel or official
A complaint for child abuse, violence, exploitation or discrimination in a private school shall be filed with the School Head/Chief Executive Officer and shall be acted upon pursuant to the school’s rules of procedures on administrative cases. The penalty shall be that which is provided by the rules of the school, subject to the requirements of due process. The administrative cases shall be without prejudice to any civil or criminal cases that may be filed.
- Expeditious conduct of investigation and reporting of cases;
- School Head or the Schools Division Superintendent shall forward the complaint within 48 hours to the Disciplining Authority, who shall issue an Order for the conduct of a fact0finding investigation, not later than 72 hours from submission;
- If the person complained of is a non-teaching personnel, the Schools Division Superintendent shall cause the conduct of a fact-finding investigation within the same period;
- Criminal and civil liability shall not be a bar to the filing of an administrative case;
- The Revised Rules of Procedure of DepED in Administrative Cases shall apply in all other aspects;
- The identity or another information that may reasonably identify the pupil or student shall remain confidential; and
- The identity of a respondent-teacher shall likewise be kept confidential.
DUTIES OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Private Schools shall be responsible for promulgating a school child protection policy, including a policy on bullying, a protocol for reporting and procedures for handling and management of cases, consistent with these policies and guidelines.