Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Antibullying law

A press release from the City Council.
On second and final reading

THE implementation of policies against bullying in schools is expected to take place in the different schools in Cagayan de Oro City.

This, after the 16th City Council during its regular session yesterday presided over by Vice Mayor Caesar Ian E. Acenas approved on second and final reading Ordinance No. 12581-2013, prohibiting acts of bullying committed among students in Cagayan de Oro City, providing penalty for violations, and for other purposes.

Section 8 of the ordinance provides that the school administration shall be responsible for the implementation and oversight of policies intended to address bullying.

It requires the creation of an Anti-Bullying Committee in schools that will establish policies against this in their respective institutions. Members of the committee are the school principal as the chair, Parents-Teachers Community Association President (PTCA) as the vice chair and the guidance counselor, student council president and any representative from the teaching or academic staff as members.

Schools are required to establish clear procedures for promptly responding to investigations on reports of bullying; identify the range of disciplinary administrative actions that may be taken against the perpetrator for bullying, which shall be commensurate with the nature and the gravity of the offense; establish strategies for protecting students from acts of bullying and of promptly notifying the parents or guardian of a victim, among others.

The ordinance requires schools to provide students and their parents or guardians with a copy of anti-bullying policies being adopted. These policies should be included in the school’s student and/or employee handbook and should be conspicuously posted on the school walls and website, if any.

Bullying, as defined by the ordinance, are acts committed by any severe or repeated use by one or more students of written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act of gesture or any combination that may cause physical injury, emotional distress and psychological fear or physical or emotional harm to his limb, family and property.

Councilor Ramon Tabor, principal author of the ordinance, noted the alarming incidents of bullying, which he says leaves emotional scars to students.

He maintained the need to address this, to develop the moral character and personal discipline of students and to protect the well-being and welfare of the city’s constituents as provided for in Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution and R.A. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.

Councilors Adrian Barba, Alexander Dacer, Nadya Emano, Alden Bacal, Emmanuel Abejuela and Roger Abaday are co-authors of the anti-bullying law.

No comments: