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DepEd suspends teacher in fatal slapping of Antipolo City student

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The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday announced it has placed a public elementary school teacher who allegedly slapped a 14-year-old pupil in Antipolo City under a 90-day preventive suspension pending completion of administrative investigation into the incident believed to have led to the learner’s death.

DepEd clarified, however, that the suspension was not a punishment but only part of the preventive measures while the investigation continues.

The student, identified as Francis Jay Gumikib, reportedly died after slipping into a coma days after he was allegedly slapped by his still unidentified Filipino subject teacher at the Peñafrancia Elementary School.

Result of the medico-legal examination on the boy’s death is expected to be released in a week, according to Hector Sorra, the chief of the Medico-Legal Division of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Forensics Group..

The DepEd schools division office has said a fact-finding investigation team was formed to look into the death of Gumikib.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said it was also conducting a parallel inquiry into the case.

The apparent manhandling of Gumikib gained added dimension by the October 5 observance of World Teacher’s Day.

Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte warned teachers that the law forbids physical abuse on students.

In her message during the culmination program of the World Teachers’ Day held at the Fr. Saturnino Urios University in Butuan City, Duterte said children, who are being entrusted to teachers, should not be hurt physically, sexually, or verbally.

“You should not hurt the children. There is a word from our Muslim brothers and sisters—‘harm’ to hurt the children whether it be physical, sexual, verbal abuse You don’t do that to children, especially to those that are entrusted to your care, fully by the community, by their families,” she said.

She stressed that teachers are are supposed to mold learners into the best citizens that the country could have.

The parents of Francis Jay Gumikib, 14, alleged that the teacher pulled their son’s hair and slapped him after his classmates complained he was being noisy classmates complained he was being noisy.

Doctors at the St. Francis hospital where the boy was taken on Sept. 26, found internal bleeding in his brain and he subsequently expired on Oct. 2.

Duterte said they have seen the medical certified which stated brain edema as the cause of Gumikib’s death.


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