DepEd backs teacher shamed by Raffy Tulfo: He didn’t give her due process
The Department of Education (DepEd) said the teacher who was humiliated in a television program for allegedly committing child abuse towards one of her pupils should have been given due process by host Raffy Tulfo.
In asaid there are laws and policies in place to protect both students and teachers involved in complaints.
“Teachers are entitled to due process, which was not given to her during the program,” the DepEd said.
While stressing that child abuse cases are not subject to compromise, it added that the rights of teacher Melita Limjuco, 55, were not respected when Tulfo pressured her to make an on-the-spot compromise to avoid a possible criminal case.
Moreover, Limjuco’s early retirement, the office said, will “have a serious impact on her person and family.”
The DepEd clarified that teachers, as the substitute parental authority for their students at school, are expected to exercise reasonable supervision, including exercising discipline, while maintaining the dignity and safety of the students.
“Schools are second home to learners, while teachers are their second parents. We entrust our children to the institution and teachers,” the DepEd said.
Furthermore, the DepEd said its regional and division offices were handling the case “through procedures consistent with the applicable laws and policies.”
The DepEd also said it encourages proper dialogue to continue to help resolve any disputes between the affected parties.
“Even prior to the airing of the television program, there was already a meeting between the parents of the learner and the teacher before the school head, and it is best for this process to continue,” the DepEd said.
In an episode of Tulfo in Action last week, Salve Bañez, grandmother of a Grade 2 pupil expressed ire over Limjuco for humiliating her grandchild for failure to bring a report card to school and made unsubstantiated accusations of physical abuse in the past against the teacher.
According to Bañez and shown through CCTV footage, her grandchild’s seat was taken outside the classroom by Limjuco while the student was forced to seat outside for the duration of the class.
Bañez initially wanted Limjuco to resign from her teaching post, be stripped of her teaching license, and be thrown in jail for child abuse, but the child’s parents advocated for Limjuco to instead resign and lose her license in exchange for not pursuing a criminal case against her.
“Kalimutan niyo na po yung napag-usapan niyo ng lola. Sabi po ng both parents, yung tatay, nanay, nandito. Hindi ka kakasuhan ng child abuse. But still, ikaw na kusa ang mag-resign sa iyong trabaho at maging sa PRC (Professional Regulation Commission) ilalakad namin, sasang-ayunan mo para mas mabilis yung proseso na ikaw ay matanggalan ng lisensya,” Tulfo told Limjuco in a phone conversation during the show aired last week.
Tulfo’s gesture of “pressuring” the teacher to resign and for unduly exercising his influence and the grandmother and mother of the child drew flak from netizens, who came in defense of Limjuco claiming that she just implemented a disciplinary action in the course of her duty.
As of this posting, Tulfo has apologized for his actions.