The Department of Education (DepEd) issued a statement on the recent viral video of an alleged assault between two students of Ateneo Junior High School, reminding authorities to enforce anti-bullying policies.
In a statement issued on Friday, the department addressed to both public and private kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools, it highlighted laws and regulations that schools must comply with to ensure robust anti-bullying policies.
The creation of DepEd Order No. 40, series 2012, or the “DepEd Child Protection Policy,” institutionalized zero tolerance against any form of violence against the child and provided for the establishment of a Child Protection Committee (CPC) in all public and private schools.
Meanwhile, under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 (RA 10627), prohibits bullying on school grounds or property immediately adjacent to school grounds, school-sponsored or school-related activities, functions or programs whether on or off school grounds; at school bus stops; on school buses or other vehicles owned, leased or used by a school.
Both rules are ordering the implementation of “comprehensive, multifaceted” bullying prevention programs in schools which also includes counseling, life skills training, education and other activities that will enhance the psychological, emotional, and psychosocial well-being of victims, bullies, and other affected parties.
The DepEd reminder also encouraged students to report bullying to their parents, teachers, and other appropriate authorities. It gave assurances that the identity and personal circumstances of everyone involved – victims, bullies, witnesses – would be treated with confidentiality.