521 cases of bullying plus 2 deaths reported

PANGASINAN SCHOOLS DIVISION II

LINGAYEN—There weren’t only two cases of bullying in Pangasinan, but 521 cases in Schools Division II alone.

This was pointed out by Dr. Donato Balderas Jr. Schools Division II superintendent during the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s Question’s Hour on bullying in Pangasinan schools last week.

Balderas said the number was culled after he encouraged the reporting of bullying cases by all schools in the division since 2015-2016 school year that recorded 135 cases.

He added that the number rose to 276 for the school year 2016-2017 and clarified that the increasing number indicates that victims are beginning to realize that reporting the instances of bullying lead to solutions.

Schools Division II covers the towns in Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Districts of Pangasinan but does not include other city divisions in Urdaneta, Dagupan, Alaminos and San Carlos.

Balderas, the only schools superintendent, among the five other superintendents invited to attend the Question Hour, said bullying is a societal issue that demands the cooperation of parents, teachers, school administrators, community members including the media to instil the culture of peace and the value respect for one another.

Superintendent Charlie Angya-on, officer-in-charge police chief of Mangaldan, told board members that charges have been filed at the Prosecutor’s Office against the suspects for the bullying of two boys that led to their deaths.

An 11-year old boy who died on Jan. 7 after his three playmates, aged 9, 10 and 11 respectively reportedly beat him up and another casualty on Jan. 15 that resulted in the death of Kenneth Langit, 19, Grade 11.

Fourth District Board Member Jeremy Agerico Rosario, chairman of the Committee on Education, said he is saddened by the senseless loss of young lives of students due to bullying.

He said inquiry was made because the provincial board wanted to know how Republic Act 10627 or the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 is being implemented in Pangasinan schools.

He said DepEd Order 40 series of 2012, DepEd Child Protection Policy, lays down the policies and guidelines in protecting children from abuse, violence, exploitation, discrimination, bullying and other forms of abuse and there are programs being implemented.

He said the policy points out that both the bully and the student being bullied are considered victims.

Balderas said his meeting with school principals last week resulted in a resolve to further strengthen implementation of the Child Protection Policy by requiring all students from kindergarten up to senior high school shall sign a covenant in a language they understand to end bullying.

He said he believes the campaign lead to a declaration of a school as bullying-free. (PhilStar Wire Service)

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