Attached is a Regional Order No. 07, s. 2018 from May B. Eclar, Ph.D., CESO V, Regional Director, DepEd CAR dated November 13, 2018, entitled “BASIC GUIDELINES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF LEARNERS’ DISCIPLINE MANUAL”, which is self-explanatory, for the information, guidance and compliance of all concerned.
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DepEd Guidelines in the Development of Learners’ Discipline Manual
The Department of Education (DepEd) – CAR issues the enclosed Basic Guidelines in the Development of Learners’ Discipline Manual which shall serve as the basis of all public and private schools in crafting or developing or amending their Learners’ Discipline Manual, Anti-Bullying Policy, and Child Protection Policy.
This policy, which is based from different DepEd issuances, provides the minimum standards that shall be included in the above mentioned policies and manual.
All regional policies, processes or systems related to learners’ discipline that are inconsistent to this Regional Order are hereby repealed, rescinded, or modified accordingly.
Basic Guidelines in the Development of Learners’ Discipline Manual
Every school shall maintain discipline inside the school campus as well as outside the school premises when learners are engaged in activities authorized by the school. The School Head shall have authority, accountability and responsibility for creating an environment within the school that is conducive to teaching and learning. Teachers shall be deemed persons in authority when in the discharge of lawful duties and responsibilities, and shall, therefore, be accorded due respect and protection. Therefore, the school shall impose appropriate and reasonable disciplinary measures in case of offenses or infractions of good discipline.
These guidelines shall be included in the Child Protection and Anti-Bullying Policy of the school, and Learner’s Discipline Manual/Code of Conduct.
To aid in the creation of the Learner’s Discipline Manual, the following Rights and Responsibilities, and Obligations of the Learners as outlined in Batas Pambansa Bilang 232 and DepEd Order No. 40, s. 2012 must be emphasized:
A. Batas Pambansa Bilang 232
Section 9. Right of Students in School – In addition to other rights, and subject to the limitation presented by law and regulations, and student and pupils in all schools shall enjoy the following rights:
- The right to receive, primarily through competent instruction, relevant quality education in line with national goals and conducive to their full development as person with human dignity.
- The right to school guidance and counseling services for decisions and selecting the alternatives in fields of work suited to his potentialities.
- The right of access to his own school records, the confidentiality of which the school shall maintain and preserve.
- The right to the issuance of official certificates, diplomas, transcript of records, grades, transfer credentials and other similar documents within thirty days from request.
- The right to publish a student newspaper and similar publications, as well as the right to invite resource persons during assemblies, symposia and other activities of similar nature.
- The right to free expression of opinions and suggestions, and to effective channels of communication with appropriate academic channels and administrative bodies of the school or institution.
- The right to form, establish, join and participate in organizations and societies recognized by the school to foster their intellectual, cultural, spiritual and physical growth and development, or to form, establish, join and maintain organizations and societies for purposes not contrary to law.
- The right to be free from involuntary contributions, except those approved by their own organizations or societies.
Duties and Obligations
Section 15. Duties and Responsibilities of Students – in addition to those provided for under existing laws, every student shall:
- Exert his utmost to develop his potentialities for service, particularly by undergoing an education suited to his abilities, in order that he may become an asset to his family and to society.
- Uphold the academic integrity of the school, endeavor to achieve academic excellence and abide by the rules and regulations governing his academic responsibilities and moral integrity.
- Promote and maintain the peace and tranquility of the school by observing the rules and discipline, and by exerting efforts to attain harmonious relationships with fellow students, the teaching and academic staff and other school personnel. 4
- Participate actively in civic affairs and in the promotion of the general welfare, particularly in the social, economic and cultural development of his community and in the attainment of a just, compassionate and orderly society.
- Exercise his rights responsibly in the knowledge that he is answerable for any infringement or violation of the public welfare and of the rights of others.
B. DepEd Order No. 40, s. 2012
Section 9. Duties and Responsibilities of Pupils, Students and Learners
Pupils, students and learners shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
A. Comply with the school’s regulations, as long as they are in harmony with their best interests. Pupils, students and learners shall refrain from:
i. Engaging in discrimination, or leading a group of pupils or students to discriminate another, with reference to one’s physical appearance, weaknesses and status of any sort;
ii. Doing any act that is inappropriate or sexually provocative;
iii. Participating in behavior of other students that is illegal, unsafe or abusive;
iv. Marking or damaging school property, including books, in any way;
v. Engaging in fights or any aggressive behavior;
vi. Introducing into the school premises or otherwise possessing prohibited articles, such as deadly weapons, drugs, alcohol, toxic and noxious substances, cigarettes and pornographic material; and
vii. Performing other similar acts that cause damage or injury to another.
An allegation that any of these acts has been committed shall not be used to curtail the child’s basic rights, or interpreted to defeat the objectives of this Department Order.
B. Conduct themselves in accordance with their levels of development, maturity, and demonstrated capabilities, with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other persons;
C. Respect another person’s rights regardless of opinion, status, gender, ethnicity, religion, as well as everyone’s moral and physical integrity; and
D. Observe the Code of Conduct for pupils, students and learners.
II. NON-DISCIPLINARY CASES
A. Attendance; Uniform & I.D.; Haircut
1. Public Elementary and Secondary Schools:
a. The following guidelines in attendance and punctuality as stated in the Paragraph 1.2, Section 1, Chapter III, Part IV of 2000 DECS Service Manual shall be observed.
i. Regularity of attendance and punctuality are required in all classes. A student who has been absent or has cut classes is required to present a letter of explanation from his/her parents or guardians or to bring them to school for a short conference with the section adviser or guidance counselor as the case may be.
ii. Attendance of students in special holidays, activities relative to their religions shall be allowed provided permission of the school head is sought.
iii. Habitual tardiness especially during the first period in the morning and in the afternoon shall not be allowed. Teachers concerned shall call for the parents of the student concerned or visit him/her at home.
b. Pursuant to DepEd Order No. 45 s. 2008 and DepEd Order No. 46 s. 2008, wearing of school uniform is not mandatory:
To increase school participation of all school-aged children, it is important to remove any and all obstacles, particularly financial, to their enrolment in public schools. Accordingly, the President has ordered the following:
i. The wearing of a school uniform shall not be required in public schools.
ii. Identification (ID) cards shall be provided to students at no cost to them.
The school administration shall fund these from their MOOE.
While the general policy is that the wearing of a school uniform shall not be required in public schools (as embodied in DepEd Order No. 45 s. 2008), it is necessary to provide guidance on what constitutes proper school attire. The following principles should serve as a guide:
i. A student’s basic right to go to school, study and learn is of paramount importance and should be respected and promoted at all times.
ii. A student’s attire should reflect respect for the school as an institution for learning.
iii. A student’s attire should not become a cause for discrimination particularly for students belonging to a lower socio-economic status.
iv. Promoting physical hygiene and proper school decorum is part of the teaching- learning process in schools, thus a student’s attire and physical appearance should manifest learnings from this process.
Given the above principles, the suggested attire for elementary and secondary learners may be:
For Male Learners
- Polo shirt/T-shirt with sleeves – any plain color, with a minimum prints
- Pants (long or short) – any color
- Footwear – any
For Female Learners
- Dress, skirt and blouse, blouse and pants – any color, print
Learners with existing uniforms may continue using these uniforms, if they so desire, in order to avoid incurring additional costs for new attire.
Learners are discouraged from wearing expensive (signature or designer brands) or flashy clothes, tight-fitting pants/blouses/dresses, mini-skirts, short shorts, blouses with plunging necklines, hip-hop pants for boys, and sleepwear.
A learner who violates the above guidelines is required to present a letter of explanation from his/her parents or guardians or to bring them to school for a short conference with the section adviser or guidance counselor as the case may be.
c. Suggested haircut for boys: at least 1 inch above the ear and 3 inches above the collar line.
A learner who is not in proper haircut is required to present a letter of explanation from his/her parents or guardians or to bring them to school for a short conference with the section adviser or guidance counselor as the case may be.
2. Private Schools:
a. Pursuant to DepEd Order No. 88 s. 2018, the following are the guidelines:
Section 133. Absences. A pupil or student in every private school who incurs absences of more than twenty (20%) percent of the prescribed number of class or laboratory periods during the school year or term should be given a failing grade and given no credit for the course or subject. However, the school may adopt an attendance policy to govern absences of its pupils or students who belong to the upper half of their respective classes.
Section 157. Attendance and Punctuality. Regularity of attendance and punctuality are required in all classes. A pupil/student who has been absent or has cut classes is required to present a letter of explanation from his/her parents or guardian or to bring them to school for a short conference with the section adviser or guidance counselor as the case may be.
Attendance of pupils/students in special holidays, activities relative to their religious, e.g. Ramadan, shall be allowed provided permission of the school head is sought.
157.1 Absences. A pupil/student who incurs absences of more than twenty percent of the prescribed number of class or laboratory periods during the school year or term should be given a failing grade and given no credit for the course or subject Furthermore, the school head may at his/her discretion and in the individual case exempt a student who exceeds the twenty percent limit for reasons considered valid and acceptable to the school. Such discretion shall not excuse the student concerned from responsibility in keeping up with lesson assignments and taking examinations where indicated. The discretionary authority is vested in the school head, and may not be availed of by a student nor granted by a faculty member without the consent of the school head.
Habitual tardiness especially during the first period in the morning and in the afternoon shall not be allowed. Teachers concerned shall call for the parents of the student concerned or visit him at home.
157.2 School Uniform. A school uniform shall be prescribed for all pupils/students. Shoes are considered part of the uniform.
All students shall be required to wear the official school in the school campus.
The acceptable haircut for boys shall be at least one (1) inch above the ear and three (3) inches above the collar line.
B. Violations on attendance, punctuality, uniform and ID, and haircut are not subject to administrative discipline warranting penalty/ies.
III. DISCIPLINARY CASES
Considering the foregoing, the following are the infractions or violations of the learners that may be subjected to interventions and penalties as warranted:
- Assaulting a teacher, or any other school authority or his agents, or other learner/s
- Smoking inside the school premises and bringing tobacco products, vapes, etc.
- Vandalism – writing on or destroying school property like chairs, tables, windows, books, laboratory equipment and others
- Gambling of any sort
- Drinking intoxicants and liquor or entering the school premises under the influence of liquor, or bringing of alcoholic beverages
- Carrying and concealing deadly weapons or instruments
- Extortion or asking money or in kind from others
- Fighting, causing injury to others
- Hazing in any form or manner whether inside or outside the school premises
- Sexual abuse, immorality, illicit relationships
- Instigating, leading or participating in concerned activities leading to stoppage of classes
- Preventing, threatening learners or faculty members or school authorities from discharging their duties or from attending classes or entering school premises
- Forging or tampering with school records or transfer forms
- Patronizing suspected prostitution den, gambling and pornographic places
- Bringing, using and selling of pornographic materials
- Selling stolen goods in school
- Absenteeism, cutting of classes, and tardiness
- Uttering (plastic cups, bottles, candy wrappers or any waste) inside the school campus specially inside the classroom and corridors
- Loitering and staying inside or outside the school campus during class hour
- Bringing in and using gadgets like cellular phones, i-pad, psp, etc. inside the school campus (R.M. No. 207 s 2018)
- Unruly behavior inside the classroom or school premises, during assemblies, school activities, etc.
- Uttering profanities/swearwords inside the school campus
- Going to restricted places
- Tampering of school ID such as placing stickers and other objects on school ID,
- Not giving letter to parents
- Drug dependency or drug use, possession, and sale of prohibited drugs such as marijuana, ecstasy, shabu, etc. (it shall be subject to the Guidelines prescribed by DO 40 s. 2012 entitled Guidelines for the Conduct of Random Drug Testing in Public and Private Secondary Schools, and RA 9165 and its IRR)
- Joining fraternities, sororities, and gangs;
- Bullying acts – physical, emotional, mental and cyber-bullying (Bullying cases or offenses shall be handled in accordance with Republic Act 10627 and DepEd Order No. 55, s. 2013)
- Other analogous acts that may endanger/threaten any learner, school personnel, or the school.
The School may add to the list above as long as it is presented and approved by the GPTA, and the Schools Division Office subject to existing laws, rules and regulations;
The School may categorize the offenses as minor, less grave, and grave offense. In case of doubt as to the category, it shall be the lesser offense.
IV. PENALTIES AND PROHIBITED ACTS
A. The penalty shall be commensurate to the offense committed. The following are Hie corresponding penalties that shall be given a learner:
i. Minor Offense
- 1st Offense – Reprimand with counseling with parent
- 2nd Offense – Suspension of 1-2 days with counseling with parent
- 3rd Offense – shall be treated as a less grave offense, thus 3 days suspension
ii. Less Grave Offense
- 1st Offense – Suspension which shall not exceed three (3) days
- 2nd Offense – Suspension for 4-6 days
- 3rd Offense – shall be treated as a grave offense, thus 7 days
iii. Grave Offense
- 1st Offense – Suspension for seven (7) days
- 2nd Offense – Suspension for more than seven (7) days but not more than one (1) year – refer to the SDS for approval
- 3rd Offense – Suspension for one (1) year or more – refer it to the Secretary for approval
- 4th Offense – Expulsion – refer to the Secretary for approval
iv. Exclusion (applicable only in Private Schools and shall only be imposed for grave offenses)
B. The following are prohibited sanctions or actions by the school:
i. Transfer as a penalty in the guise of exclusion;
ii. Manual labor detrimental to the health and safety of the learner or that demeans the well-being of the child;
iii. Fines/ Contributions in cash or in kind;
iv. Amicable settlement as proscribed by law, roles and regulations
v. “kultap” for improper haircut
vi. Non return of confiscated items except for illegal drugs, weapons or any illegal item, which shall be turned over to appropriate authorities;
vii. Corporal punishment;
viii. Barring entry to the school during class hours for whatever reason except when the learner is under preventive suspension;
- A learner under investigation of a case involving the penalty of expulsion may be preventively suspended from entering the school premises if the evidence of guilt is strong and the school head is morally convinced that the continued stay of the pupil or student during the period of the investigation constitutes a distraction to the normal operations of the school or poses a risk or danger to the life of persons and property in the school.
ix. Sending out learners outside the classroom or school premises;
x. Demerits in grades/ deductions of scores;
xi. Deprivation in any school activity except in sports and other competitions where banning the participant is justified under existing polices;
Procedure in Learner Discipline
A. The School Head shall issue a Notice in writing to the learner through the Parent/Guardian by personal service or any other means of service within 5 three (3) working days from date of incident/report.
B. The Answer in writing of the learner with the assistance of the parents/guardian must be submitted within three (3) working days from receipt on Notice.
C. A Notice of Conference with parents/guardian shall be issued within three (3) working days from receipt of Answer. The conference shall be before the School Head if it is a first minor offense; otherwise, before the Child Protection Committee
i. The parties shall be given a chance to be heard.
ii. The conference must be recorded through a minutes of conference duly signed by all die parties and members present.
D. The Decision in writing shall be issued within 3 working days by the School Head/Administrator.
i. Reprimand shall be final and executory.
ii. The Decision imposing a penalty of suspension is appealable to the SDS for public schools. For private schools, exhaust administrative remedies available within the school/institution, and the final decision of the private school is appealable to the SDS. The appeal must be made within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the Decision. The Decision of the SDS is executory.
For private schools, the penalty of suspension shall not exceed 20% of the prescribed school days of a school year. If it does, the decision shall be forwarded to the Regional Office concerned, within ten days from the termination of the investigation of each case for its information.
iii. The Decision imposing exclusion for private school is appealable to the SDS and higher authorities. No prior approval of the Department is required in the imposition of the penalty.
The decision of the school on every case involving the penalty of exclusion from the rolls, together with all the pertinent papers therefor, shall be filed in the school for a period of one year in order to afford the Department the opportunity to review the case in the event an appeal is taken by the party concerned.
iv. The Decision in every case involving the penalty of expulsion, together with the supporting papers shall be forwarded to the Regional Office concerned within ten (10) days from the termination of the investigation of each case.
The decision imposing die penalty of expulsion must be referred to the Secretary for approval before implementation.
v. Pending the case, the learners and parents/guardians shall undergo counseling and appropriate interventions such as but not limited to the following: referral to the MSWD for psycho-social support, attendance to character formation activities, community service provided it will not disrupt class hours, etc.
VI. DEFINITION OF TERMS
For this purpose, die following shall have the corresponding definitions:
Disciplining Authority – shall refer to the Principal or School Head of the School
Learner – shall refer to female or male pupil/student duly enrolled in the school
Parent/Guardian – Parent shall refer to the mother and father identified in the Certificate of Live Birth of the learner. Guardian1 is defined as:
i. An individual authorized by the biological parent/s whom the care and custody of the learner has been entrusted;
ii. Relative of the learner within the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity provided that said relative has care and custody of the child;
iii. An individual appointed by a competent court as the legal guardian of the learner;
iv. In case of an orphan, the individual/institution who has the care and custody of the learner.
Suspension – a penalty in which the school is allowed to deny or deprive an erring learner of attendance in classes for a certain period.
Exclusion – a penalty in which the school is allowed to exclude or drop the name of the erring learner from the school rolls.
Expulsion – an extreme penalty in which the erring learner is excluded from admission to any public or private school in the Philippines which requires the prior approval of the Secretary.
VII. GENERAL PROVISIONS
A. Paramount in the formulation of the of the Learners’ Discipline Manual is to highlight the concept of “Positive and Non-Violent Discipline of Children.” Positive Discipline is a way of thinking, and a holistic, constructive and proactive 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 are full human beings with basic human rights. Positive discipline begins with setting the longterm goals or impacts that teachers want to have on their learner’s adult lives, and using everyday situations and challenges as opportunities to teach life-long skills and values to learners.
B. Therefore, it is emphasized that the Department has a zero tolerance policy for any act of child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, bullying and other forms of abuse.
C. All Learners’ Discipline Manuals of the public and private schools with Recognition status shall be submitted to the Schools Division Office on or before February 28, 2019 for the review by the Review Committee composed of the Attorney III, Division Child Protection Coordinator, and at least one Child Protection Specialist.
D. The review committee has sixty (60) days from the submission to review and recommend to the SDS for approval provided that all manuals must be approved before June 1, 2019 for public schools and recognized private schools. For private schools applying for permit, the manual shall be submitted during the application or renewal of permit for review by the committee within sixty (60) days from receipt.
E. Only upon the approval of the Schools Division Superintendent shall the Learners’ Manual be effective for SY 2019 – 2020 and beyond. The schools are encouraged to update their manuals every 3 – 5 years and submit to the SDO for approval.
For information and strict compliance.
Batas Pambansa 232