CHR vows to monitor probe on 'physical, verbal abuse' of 3 students in Pampanga

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has vowed to monitor the investigation on the incident in Lubao, Pampanga where a Grade 9 school teacher "physically and verbally abused' three students.

The investigation is being conducted by the regional office of the Department of Education (DepEd) and its division office in Pampanga.  The CHR said that charges of violations of Republic Act No. 7610, the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, have also been filed against the teacher.

The reported abuse was caught on video and has been circulated widely. 

In a statement, the CHR stressed that schools are supposed to be sanctuaries of learning and safety for children. The fact that the students would experience abuse at the hands of their teacher is a matter of deep concern, it said.

"Abuse of any kind -- whether it be verbal, physical, or emotional -- compromises children's basic rights and sense of dignity. Such behaviors can damage the educational environment designed to foster and grow young minds and may cause lasting psychological harm," the CHR pointed out. 

It cited RA 7610 which defines child abuse as acts that debase, degrade, or demean a child's intrinsic worth and dignity.

The law is also underscored by the DepEd in its Child Protection Policy which advocates for positive and non-violent disciplinary measures and emphasizes the respect and defense of children's rights.

"CHR acknowledges the response by the DepEd and the Lubao Municipal Police," it said. 

It also said: "The Commission reiterates the importance of continuous proactive efforts to ensure that schools remain safe and nurturing spaces for students. Educational institutions are expected to consistently uphold the highest standards of child protection."