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Senate Bill Seeks to Protect Public School Teachers From Malicious Accusations of Child Abuse

For the information and guidance of all concerned, enclosed is a copy of Senate Bill No. 1189 dated November 25, 2019, titled AN ACT INSTITUTIONALIZING SUPPORT MECHANISMS ON MATTERS OF STUDENT DISCIPLINE AND CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT FOR TEACHERS AND PERSONNEL IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.

Senate Bill No. 1189

Our public schools shoulder the crucial role of providing education to millions of students every year. The classroom serves as a venue of formation for the children where teachers spend their careers teaching not only knowledge but values as well.

A disorganized classroom without procedures and expectations makes it difficult for our teachers to do their job. The ambiguity of permissible teacher conduct in the context of student discipline and classroom management hurts the school system. This difficulty is worsened by the fact that many teachers do not receive institutional training in the right strategies that will allow them to property manage student-behavioral troubles. The lack of licensed guidance counselors who act as support personnel and legal assistance and representation also compound the problem.

Through mandating the issuance of a teacher’s manual and provision of preservice and in-service training on child behavior and psychology, effective classroom management and appropriate disciplinary techniques, the bill seeks to lay down an overdue institutionalized support mechanism for our public school teachers and personnel.

In addition to the provisions of guidance and support for proper classroom management, this bill seeks to amend Republic Act 7610, commonly known as the Child Abuse Law, insofar as any act committed by a teacher or school personnel complying with the multi-stakeholder teacher’s manual shall not be deemed as “child abuse.” To complement this, legal assistance is provided to teachers and personnel in cases related to student discipline and classroom management.

Introduced by Senator Grace Poe

An Act Institutionalizing Support Mechanisms on Matters of Student Discipline and Classroom Management for Teachers and Personnel in the Public School System

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

Section 1. Title. —This Act shall be known as the “Teacher Protection Act”.

Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is the declared policy of the State to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education. It is likewise declared that the State has the duty to establish and maintain a complete and adequate system of public basic education geared towards the holistic development of a child.

To this end, the State shall institutionalize measures to implement in all public schools clearly defined regulations for teachers on student discipline and classroom management.

The State is also hereby bound to establish and maintain support system, including training on classroom management and child discipline and legal assistance for teachers and school staff, who stand in direct contract with students in the course of the discharge of their duties.

Sec. 3. Coverage. -This Act shall be applicable to all teaching personnel of all public school institutions, including non-teaching personnel who stand in direct contact with students in the course of the discharge of their duties.

Sec. 4. Guidelines for Teachers. – The Department of Education (hereinafter the Department) is hereby tasked to issue policies and principles on student discipline and classroom management.

For purposes of this Act, a teacher’s manual is a written document detailing:

(1) The school’s rules and regulation to be observed by teachers with respect to students, whenever inside its premises or outside it;

(2) Permissible, appropriate, and effective responses and interventions that will address violations of school rules and regulations, including but not limited to communications to parents, counseling, reprimand, and detention, at each level and repetition of offense, to be administered by teachers, the school head, and other school staff; and

(3) A clear description of the disciplinary procedure and clear designation of the authorities competent to investigate, purpose, and apply the responses and interventions.

The Department shall formulate a teacher’s manual to be implemented in all schools under its jurisdiction. This manual shall set out, among others the disciplinary action to be taken against students who are found to have made malicious accusations of child abuse against teacher and school staff.

Sec. 5. Act pursuant to teacher’s manual not deemed as child abuse. – Any act committed by a teacher or school staff pursuant to the disciplinary rules and procedure issued by the Department shall not be deemed as child abuse, cruelty, exploitation as denied in Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

Sec. 6. Consultation of involved sectors in the drafting of student manual. -Students, parents, teachers, other school personnel, and the community, represented by their respective organizations, as well as professionals in child behavior and social work, shall each have meaningful involvement in the formulation of the guidelines and the teacher’s manual.

Sec. 7. Information dissemination of the student manual. – The Department shall provide explanations, training, and workshops in order to familiarize students and families with the student manual, explain the expectations of various sectors involved, and describe the various preventive and positive responses and interventions that may be used.

At the beginning of each school year, copies of the student manual shall be provided to each student as well as their parents or legal guardians.

Sec. 8. Support personnel. – The Department, in coordination with the Department of Budget and Management, shall also ensure that there is a sufficient number of items for licensed guidance counselors, who will serve as support personnel to teachers and school administrators in matters of student discipline.

For purposes of this Act, the Department shall implement the recommended ratio of one guidance counselor for every 200 students in both public and private primary and secondary schools.

Sec. 9. Other support mechanisms for student discipline and classroom management. – The Department shall provide such other mechanisms necessary to capacitate its teachers and other personnel on matters regarding child behavior and psychology, classroom management techniques, positive discipline, and other related fields. These measures shall include but not limited to the conduct of periodic seminars and formulation of primers and other explanatory materials.

Sec. 10. Protection to teachers and school personnel in charges related to student discipline and classroom management. – In all cases related to student discipline and classroom management, including criminal and administrative charges of child abuse, the Department shall extend to its teachers and other personnel the necessary protection, including but not limited to legal assistance and representation.

The Department shall ensure that respondents, in all stages of the disciplinary proceedings, are amply represented by the accredited union, or registered union, where there is no existing accredited union, of teachers or non-teaching employees, as the case may be.

Violation of this section shall render the administrative proceedings void and all responsible persons administratively liable for gross neglect of duty.

Sec. 11. Confidentiality of identity of parties and proceedings under this Act. -No person, whether public or private and whether a party to the case or otherwise, shall publicize a case during its pendency. In no case shall the identity of complaints and respondents, or any information that may reasonably identify them, be disclosed to the public during the pendency of the proceedings.

Violation of this Section shall subject the person to the appropriate administrative, civil, criminal, and other liabilities.

The Department shall issue its guidelines for the media with regard to the handlings of cases within the contemplation of this Act.

Sec. 12. Rules and Regulations. – Within ninety (90) days from the effective date of this Act, the Department shall promulgate the manual, rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this Act.

Sec. 13. Separability Clause. – If any portion or provision of this Act is held unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act or any provisions not affect thereby shall remain in force and effect.

Sec. 14. Repealing Clause. – Republic Act No. 7610 is hereby modified accordingly. Any law, presidential decree or issuance executive order, letter of instruction, rule or regulation inconsistent with the provisions of this Act is hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Sec. 15. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its complete publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.


Download Senate Bill No. 1189

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Mark Anthony Llego

Mark Anthony Llego, from the Philippines, has significantly influenced the teaching profession by enabling thousands of teachers nationwide to access essential information and exchange ideas. His contributions have enhanced their instructional and supervisory abilities. Moreover, his articles on teaching have reached international audiences and have been featured on highly regarded educational websites in the United States.

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