Anti-Bullying Act of 2013

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Republic Act No. 10627, also known as the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013, is an Act that requires all elementary and secondary schools to adopt policies which will prevent and address the acts of bullying.

It originated in the House of Representatives. It was prepared and submitted by Representatives Mary Mitzi Cajayon, Christopher Co, Rodel Batocabe, Juan Edgardo Angara, Alfredo Garbin, Salvador H. Escudero III and Bernadette Herrera-Dy, per Committee Report No. 1515. It was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on 5 June 2013. It was approved by Acting Senate President Jinggoy Estrada and Speaker of the House of Representatives Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.. It was signed and passed into law by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on 12 September 2013.

Bullying refers to any severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property; creating a hostile environment at school for the other student; infringing on the rights of the other student at school; or materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Examples of bullying are:

  • Any unwanted contact like punching, pushing, shoving, kicking, slapping, tickling, headlocks, inflicting school pranks, teasing, fighting and using available objects as weapons
  • Any act which causes damage to a victim's psyche and/or emotional well-being
  • Any slanderous statement or accusation which may cause the victim undue emotional distress (directing foul language or profanity, name-calling, tormenting and commenting negatively on the victim's looks, clothes and/or body)
  • Cyber-bullying

To see the House version of this bill, please click on this link.


Contents

Contents

All elementary and secondary schools are directed to adopt policies, which shall be regularly updated, to address the existence of bullying in their respective institutions.

Schools shall

  • Prohibit the following acts:
  1. Bullying on school grounds (property immediately adjacent to school grounds; school-sponsored or school-related activities; school bus stops; and on school buses or other school vehicles) or through the use of the school's technology or electronic device
  2. Bullying at a location, activity, function or program which is not school-related and through the use of technology or electronic device which is not owned by the school
  3. Retaliation against a person who reports bullying
  • Identify disciplinary administrative actions against the perpetrator which will be in proportion with the nature and gravity of the offense. The perpetrator will also be required to undergo a rehabilitation program to be administered by the institution concerned. His or her parents are also encouraged to join the rehabilitation program.
  • Establish clear procedures and strategies for:
  1. Reports on acts of bullying and retaliation
  2. Prompt response and investigation on bullying and retaliation
  3. Restoration of the victim's sense of safety and assessment of his or her need for protection
  4. Protection of a person who reports acts of bullying or is a witness to or has reliable information about an act of bullying
  5. Provision of counseling or referral to appropriate services for perpetrators, victims, and appropriate family members of concerned students
  • Allow students to anonymously report bullying or retaliation. However, no disciplinary administrative action shall be taken against a perpetrator solely on the basis of the anonymous report
  • Subject a student who makes a false accusation of bullying to a disciplinary administrative action
  • Educate students, parents and guardians on the school's anti-bullying policies and mechanisms for the anonymous reporting of acts of bullying or retaliation. Parents and guardians are also advised on how they can provide support and reinforce such policies at home. Copies of anti-bullying policies being adopted by the school shall be provided to students and their parents or guardians. Such policies shall also be included in the school's student and/or employee handbook and be conspicuously posted on the school walls and website.
  • Maintain a public record of the school's relevant information and statistics of bullying or retaliation. The names of students who committed acts of bullying or retaliation shall be strictly confidential.

It should be noted that this Act also covers school officials. DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said that “Under DepEd Order Number 40 series of 2012, teachers who humiliate students face administrative sanctions.”

The Department of Education (DepEd) shall include in its training programs, courses or activities for school administrators, teachers and other employees to develop their knowledge and skills in preventing or responding to any bullying act.

The school principal or any person who holds a comparable role shall be responsible for the implementation and oversight of policies intended to address bullying.

The Secretary of DepEd shall prescribe the appropriate administrative school sanctions on school administrators who fail to comply with the requirements. Erring private schools shall also suffer the penalty of suspension of their permits to operate.


Mechanisms to address bullying

  • Any student, parent, member of the school administration or volunteer shall immediately report any instance of bullying or act of retaliation witnessed to the school principal or school officer designated by the principal to handle such issues, or both.
  • The school principal or the designated school officer shall promptly investigate.
  • Once determined that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the school principal or designated school officer shall:
  1. Notify the law enforcement agency if the principal believes that criminal charges under the Revised Penal Code may be pursued against the perpetrator.
  2. Take appropriate disciplinary administrative action.
  3. Notify the parents or guardians of the perpetrator.
  4. Notify the parents or guardians of the victim of the actions taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation.
  • If an incident or retaliation involves students from more than one school, the school which was informed first of the bullying or retaliation shall promptly notify the appropriate administrator of the other school so both of them may take appropriate action.


Reporting requirement

Schools shall submit to their respective schools division superintendents copies of their anti-bullying policies. Schools shall also submit a report, every first week of the start of the start of the school year, all relevant information and statistics on acts of bullying or retaliation. Received data and report shall be compiled by the schools division superintendents and submitted to the Secretary of DepEd who will formally transmit a comprehensive report to the Committee on Basic Education of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.




References





Citation

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