DepEd starts probe on teacher behind body-shaming worksheet

Published November 20, 2020, 8:24 AM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Department of Education (DepEd) said it has started the administrative probe on the teacher responsible for the school worksheet that body-shamed actress Angel Locsin.

Senator Pia Cayetano (SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“I’ve been informed that the teacher is currently under administrative investigation by the department,” Senator Pia Cayetano said in sponsoring the proposed 2021 budget of the DepEd late Thursday night, quoting the department’s officials who were present in the Senate plenary hall and via teleconference.

During their budget debates, Senator Grace Poe raised recent reports on the “inappropriate” contents of some self-learning modules and instructional materials allegedly from the DepEd amid the shift to blended learning.

“There were certain examples used that were inappropriate. I commend the DepEd for calling the attention of whoever is responsible, but I’d like to know who decides on the content of the modules? Who is the final editor who will say this is appropriate, this passes?” she asked.

“Kasi parang napakahirap isipin na ‘yong mayroong makakalusot sa mga guro natin na ganitong klaseng example ‘yong ginawa (Because it’s hard to think that these kinds of examples were allowed by our teachers),” she added.

“Paano nakalusot yong ganoon (How did that slip)?”

Poe refused to specifically mention Locsin in her interpellation, but said: “‘Yong artista ‘yong tinutukoy na obese daw dahil kumakain daw palagi sa isang restaurant chain (There is this personality being described as obese for always eating in a restaurant chain).”

DepEd officials informed the senators that the controversial material did not come from the DepEd but was part of an examination created by a teacher from Occidental Mindoro.

While acknowledging that teachers have the freedom over the preparation of exams, Cayetano said she also found the teacher’s example inappropriate.

“Obviously, we all don’t agree with that example. If you ask me, that is abuse of authority, that is very wrong discretion, it was done the wrong way,” she said.

Locsin had earlier called out the DepEd for its being “unaffected” by the “bad conduct” being taught by the teacher. The actress said the teacher should apologize to the students, and that the DepEd be made accountable for the matter.

The DepEd extended to Locsin its “sincerest apology.”

Poe and Cayetano agreed that teachers should be oriented about sensitivities, even as the DepEd said that it was already part of their training.

“Because we also want to assure parents — and both of us are working moms — and do you want to have to think twice if our child is reading the right thing?” Cayetano said.

 
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