The anti-bullying law requires school authorities and parents to observe a system of reporting abuse. Will this actually curb bullying in school?
On September 18, 2013, former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III signed into law the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013. Also known as Republic Act 10627, the law requires that schools must educate both students and parents on the patterns of bullying. They are expected to devise a clear system for reporting circumstances of such harassment.
The law also necessitates the school to assign a school official responsible for the investigation and imposition of administrative action should bullying is proven. The appointed officer is henceforth expected to coordinate with the law enforcement agencies if and when criminal charges against the perpetrator is deemed necessary.
The Anti-Bullying Act further defines that the perpetrator of campus bullying will be subjected to a rehabilitation program. Schools that fail to implement the program will have a corresponding sanction determined by the Department of Education (DepEd).
Coverage of the New Law
Republic Act 10627 also specifies protection for teachers against any form of harassment. It’s a sad fact that some teachers and administrative staff in the country occasionally suffer from harassment despite their stature in school.
Compliance of the anti-bullying law extends further beyond the school authorities. Parents or guardians of bullies are required to participate in the rehabilitation program of the bully.
How parents can help implement the anti-bullying act
Bullying is a serious matter. Parents and guardians of school children should not take the issue lightly. They have to actively participate in resolving any issue of harassment. Bullying carries with it a profound impact on the emotional, psychological social welfare of not only the victim but also of the bully and the child witness of bullying.
Being the primary educator of your kids at home, parents need to set an atmosphere of love, compassion, and care for one another. It’s also important to establish a healthy communication line at home so that children may feel secured and supported when problems at school occur.
Know that not all kids would readily report what they are going through at school, particularly when it comes to bullying. They have the tendency to keep things to themselves, especially when they feel that they could not find support from the family.
Nevertheless, should your child doesn’t report any problem of bullying, be alert of any changes in his behavior. These are some of the signs that your child is bullied.
- He becomes unwilling to go out of the house.
- You’ll notice a sudden lack of interest in school activities and the things he used to be doing.
- Check for the sudden occurrence of marks, bruises, and cuts on your child. If he cannot give you a reasonable explanation about them, you should be alarmed.
- Your child shows unusual sadness, loneliness, and anxiety.
- His academic performance declines.
Once you have confirmed that your child is bullied, report the matter to the school administration immediately.
Meanwhile, to prevent your child from bullying other kids, fill your family with love and compassion. As much as possible, observe prudence of speech at home. Don’t let the children hear you cursing and uttering bad words. They might take on such behavior from you. Remember, bullying can come in the form of verbal aggression and threat.
A Recent Case of Bullying that Went Viral
December 19, 2018 – A case of bullying involving two Junior High School students of the Ateneo de Manila University went viral on social media. The incident, which occurred inside the restroom of the said school, was captured on video. It sparked outrage from many people including netizens, celebrities, and politicians. Fortunately, the incident was resolved in time.
It does pay to be alert and knowledgeable of the law about bullying. Thus, if you haven’t done it yet, I recommend that you read the Anti-Bullying Law. It will equip you with the knowledge on how to act when you witness bullying. The child you help may be your own kin.
The Impact of Bullying