DAGUPAN CITY – Mayor Belen T. Fernandez called on public school teachers anew not to inflict physical punishment on school children if they misbehaves in class, reiterating that there is a law against child bullying and child abuse.

This after learning that one male teacher from a public school in the city inflicted the bruises in the legs of six pupils in his class.

Fernandez held a meeting with the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) of Pantal Elementary School on March 21 so they can help the city protect the rights of the children against child-bullying and child abuse where she admonished parents and teachers never to inflict physical punishment on children if they misbehave.

Mayor Fernandez, along with the city’s Women Center staff composed of a lawyer and a psychologist,  visited Pantal Elementary School and held a dialogue with the parents and the teachers after it circulated in the social media that a male teacher of the school was responsible of a child’s bruises in his legs.

Fernandez later found out that the erring teacher also inflicted physical punishment on five other children of the school.

“Children are very close to my heart. They are my family. They are like my own. This is why I organized an anti-bullying hotline and a team from our City Social Welfare to handle bullying cases against children. When we launched a strong campaign on this, we experienced opposition from no less than an official of DepEd. But we held on with our campaign because as the city mayor it is my duty to look after the welfare of the children,” said Fernandez

Mayor Fernandez reminded everyone that the city does not tolerate incidents such as this.

“I admonish our teachers to exercise more patience in dealing with our children. I would like to solicit the active participation of our PTA that nothing of this kind will happen again in our city. This is why we hired the services of lawyers and a licensed psychologist to assist the victims of bullying and maltreatment in our city,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez disclosed that at the start of the year, the city has initiated several programs aimed at empowering the children in the city in several activities like training them as junior firefighters, little POSO officers and in teaching them how to be entrepreneurs and save money for their future.

“Soon, we will also launch our junior health officer who will serve as health advocates in their schools and to their fellow pupils and students,” said Fernandez.

For the last three consecutive years, the city has been recognized as the region’s Child-Friendly City and was finalist for three consecutive years in the national selection for the Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities in the country because of its initiated programs and projects advancing the rights and privileges of the children in the city. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/March 21, 2018)