Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Anti-bullying bill OK’d on third reading

MANILA-A bill authored by Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV seeking to institutionalize policies against bullying in all primary and secondary schools has been approved on final reading in the Senate.
If this becomes a law, schools will be mandated to adopt policies to address all forms of bullying, implement disciplinary actions and establish a system of reporting.
“Bullying remains to be a serious and prevalent problem in our schools today,” said Trillanes, principal author of the bill in the Senate. “Studies have shown that aside from the physical harm it may cause, bullying can cause psychological and psychosomatic problems among victims and perpetrators, which could cause greater problems in our society later on.”
“With this bill, I hope that bullying will be addressed through the proactive measures and policies which will be adopted by all schools in the country,” Trillanes added.
In the approved bill, bullying is defined as the “severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property; creating a hostile environment at school for the other student; infringing on the rights of the other student at school; or materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly operation of a school.”
The bill likewise directs the Department of Education to include activities that will enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers, school administrators, and employees on preventing and addressing bullying acts in its training programs.
“I have been fighting bullies in our government. And I believe that bullying in our society will be eradicated if we start addressing it in our schools, where our children’s values are shaped and where unlikely behaviors may develop as result of such acts. Thus, it must be our collective concern to shield our children from abusive behavior and from the vicious cycle of bullying and violence especially during their formative years,” added Trillanes, who is a father of two school children.

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