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Raffy Tulfo and his “child abuse” charges threat: What are the boundaries when it comes to disciplining students?

RAFFY TULFO – After the issues Raffy Tulfo trial to a teacher has created, a question popped: “What are the limitations to teacher when it comes to disciplining a student?”

How far can a teacher go when it comes to disciplining a student who misbehave or committed misconduct?

This is the question that have ultimately popped after the incident of Teacher Melita Limjuco placing a Grade 2 student outside the classroom after failing to return a report card. The said incident reached the program Raffy Tulfo in Action and since then created a loud buzz online.

The teacher admitted and publicly apologized for what she has done but the complainants “wanted to teach her a lesson” and she has two options: to face Child Abuse charges or voluntarily quit from her job for 29 years as a teacher. And she chose the latter which is why scrutiny and criticism were ignited against the show.

So, what should be the limitations and boundaries a teacher must know when it comes disciplining a student?

According to Attorney Mel Sta. Maria, here are some considerations:

  1. In Family Code of the Philippines, there should NEVER HAVE A CORPORAL PUNISHMENT INSIDE THE CLASSROOM. This means that a teacher must not physically hit the child in any way. Anything that “inflicts bodily harm” to the child is absolutely prohibited. Therefore, if basing on the family code, having the child out of the classroom just because of a misconduct is allowed and not against this code.
  2. However, in terms of the Child Abuse Law, ones action is considered as abusing if it is done with the pure intention to harm and inflict pain to the child in any way possible including physical and mental harm, neglect, and sexual abuse of a minor. Now, if something is done to the child as a form of discipline and to make him understand that what he did is wrong, this is not included in Child Abuse Law. This is because there were no criminal intention to harm the child but to learn instead from the mistake he has done. For example, there was this situation where a man faced child abuse case because out of annoyance, he hit a child but the court was not able to convict him just because it wasn’t intentional. But, there is this Ordinary Criminal Law.
  3. Ordinary Criminal Law: “There is no crime when there is no criminal mind.” Now, if a teacher hit a student, he or she will face administrative cases but not criminal cases. The teacher might face suspension depending on the extent of what he or she has done.
  4. Teacher has Special Parental Authority while parents have Principal Parental Authority.

Watch the full content below starting from 2:22:

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