FAILON NGAYON: Terror teachers

Posted at 08/06/2011 1:40 AM | Updated as of 08/08/2011 10:26 AM
Switch VS Students: Students look on with fear as their teacher presents the switch that will be used to hit them.

When children begin to go to school at ages as early as 4 years old, the parents entrust the teachers to care for them and teach them what is right from wrong. This way, the teachers are viewed as the second parents to the children that they teach.

The teachers’ role as second parents is to educate children not only in subjects like English or mathematics, but also educate them in all aspects of life such as proper courtesy and manners. While teachers have the right to reprimand their students, it’s almost considered a sin for a teacher to lay their hands on their students, as well as verbally attack them.

Unfortunately, not all teachers share this frame of mind.

Right minus wrong

The bamboo switch used to strike 38 of Teacher Callejo's students.

In Agno Elementary School, Pangasinan, 10 students filed a complaint against their teacher for whipping the back of their legs with a bamboo switch.

According to the students, teacher Gloria Juanitez Callejo decided to give her class a surprise test with the right minus wrong stipulation. Aside from that, she also decided to penalize the students by whipping the back of their legs with a bamboo switch for every wrong answer that they got. Of the 44 students given the surprise test, only six of them passed the exam, which enraged Teacher Callejo.

Teacher Callejo had the students lined up and whipped the students one by one and whipped them hard.  Some of the students received up to 15 strikes from the bamboo switch. Because the strikes from the bamboo switch, most of the students had marks and welts on their calves. The whipping went on for about an hour and she even threatened the students and their parents’ lives.

Students lined up and awaiting their "punishment".

Because of the trauma that they endured, most of the students refused to go to school during the following days. The 10 students and their parents of filed the complaints plan to pursue the case so that justice may be served.

60-year-old Gloria Juanitez Callejo has been a teacher for 30 years and has always garnered an “outstanding” teaching competency rating.

Prior to this case, she has had no other complaints filed against her with the DepEd.

Volatile

Terror teacher Elsie Ignacio

In Tondo, Manila, students of the Antonio Luna Elementary School have also shared their stories of a terror teacher named Elsie Ignacio.

According to a student, Teacher Ignacio would physically attack students with paper and pinches just because they were giggling.  Another student, “Rachelle”, got slapped in the face hard because she spaced out during recitation. Not content with what she had done, Ignacio told another student, “Justin” to slap Rachelle as well. For fear of getting himself slapped as well, Justin had no choice but to comply with Ignacio and slap Rachelle.

Even the most behaved student of the class, Trixia, was not spared from Teacher Ignacio’s rage. Ignacio cursed and yelled at Trixia while forcing her to admit to sending disparaging text messages to Ignacio’s phone. Ignacio even threatened to sue Trixia for her alleged actions.

Because of the incident, Trixia’s classmates have started teasing her and accusing her of being a rude person and this has greatly affected Trixia’s life in school even to the point that she feared having to go to school.

Co-teacher Ruby Gomez also felt the wrath of Teacher Ignacio

Even teachers are not safe as Ms. Ruby Gomez, fell victim to Ignacio’s volatile demeanor. According to Ms. Gomez, she and Ignacio got into a little argument regarding the Daily Time Records or DTR when Ignacio started belittling and insulting Gomez because of her appearance. After the incident, Ignacio’s husband stormed to the campus and confronted Gomez and then Ignacio herself began to pull on Gomez’s hair in an altercation. When Gomez fought back, Ignacio threw a bunch of keys at her, wounding her head.

FAILON NGAYON was able to get the side of Teacher Ignacio. She claims that she never laid a hand on any of her students and never threatened any of them. She also states that it is in fact the parents who have wronged her for immediately going to the media regarding her case instead of speaking to her personally.

With regards to Ms Gomez’s allegations, Ignacio claims that Gomez is just jealous.

What can be done?

From what DepEd has been able to record, there have been a total of 28 cases of physical, verbal, and or psychological abuse in NCR Public Schools alone since 2007. From January to July of this year alone, there are already 11 cases of abuse recorded.

According to DepEd NCR Regional Director Elena Ruiz, unfortunately there is no way of measuring or testing an aspiring teacher’s psychological capacity. The only to see this is to observe his or her actions, reactions, and temperament.

When worse comes to worst however, the victims and the parents can turn to the R.A. 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse law which states that aside from being an administrative case, any form of abuse towards children is also a criminal offense, something that abusive teachers should know.

In 2006, the DepEd already prohibited the use of sticks or switches while teaching. Now, the DepEd firmly stands with its campaign against child abuse, saying that teachers should never lay a finger on their students no matter what they have done.

Currently, there is also an Anti-Corporal Punishment law that’s pending in the Congress. This law prohibits teachers or guardians from pinching or using of sticks and switches on the students.

Welts and scars will heal through time, but the mental and emotional pain that a child gets from being abused by someone that they were told to look up to will be something that will stay with them for a long time.

“Terror Teachers” was aired on Saturday, July 16, 2011.

You can catch Failon Ngayon every Saturday, 4:45 pm on ABS-CBN and replays every Sunday, 1:30pm on ANC.