Press Release
June 7, 2015


Senator Sonny Angara has filed a bill that seeks to penalize teachers and other school personnel who bully students, amending Republic Act 10627 or the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013.

"Teachers serve as our children's second parents and it should be their primary responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of the students. Unfortunately, there are still some teachers who bully students by humiliating and punishing them in front of the class. This warrants an amendment to the anti-bullying law to expand its coverage and to provide stiffer penalties against teacher bullying," said Angara, principal author of the Anti-Bullying Act.

The senator cited a study by an American psychiatrist entitled "Teachers Who Bully Students: A Hidden Trauma" which showed that teacher bullying receives minimal attention and that this problem seems more common than people believe.

The study's anonymous survey further showed that of 116 teachers, nearly half or 45 percent admitted to having bullied a student.

Under Department of Education (DepEd) Order No. 40, series of 2012, teachers who bully students by humiliating them, scolding them in front of their classmates, and requiring them to stand and face the wall could face administrative sanction.

The DepEd said this form of punishment could cause trauma, mental anguish and emotional disturbance, which can affect the student's academic performance.

Senate Bill No. 2793 aims to give more teeth to the DepEd order by penalizing a teacher or any other school personnel who commits acts of bullying towards a student with a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P100,000 and/or by imprisonment from six months to a year.

If the bullying resulted in the student attempting to commit suicide, the penalty will be a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P500,000 and/or by imprisonment from one to three years. If the suicide attempt results in the death of the victim, the penalty will be a fine of not less than P500,000 but not more than P1 million and/or by imprisonment from three to six years.

The law defines bullying as any severe or repeated harmful act, whether written, verbal, an electronic expression, or a physical act, that has the effect of actually placing the student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or causing damage to property, creating a hostile environment at school.

"While we recognize the dedication and sacrifices of our teachers, we must ensure that schools provide the youth the opportunity for maximum learning in a safe and peaceful environment. Bullying, whether among students or by teachers and other school personnel, is one of the earliest forms of violence our children encounter and we must protect them from it," Angara said.

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