WHEN the teacher heard her pupils singing in her class while she was writing the lesson on the chalkboard, she approached them.
She did not praise them. Instead, she pulled their hair.
Marietta (real name withheld pending her side) went to six-year-old Dorry (real name withheld), pulled her hair and knocked her head on a chair. She was wounded on her head.
“She turned her ire on me even if I was not among those who sang,” the first grader at Singsing Elementary School in Balamban, Cebu said in her affidavit. “I shouted in pain.”
Last Tuesday, Dorry, assisted by her parents, charged the teacher with violation of Republic Act 7610, or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, before the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.
RA 7610 defines child abuse as maltreatment of a minor, which includes “psychological and physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment” and “any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being.”
Dorry and her parents are assisted by lawyer Ian Vincent Manticajon.
“We want the teacher to learn a lesson,” Manticajon said in a phone interview. “Her action was dangerous.”
He said the incident happened on Oct. 15 last year, but the parents took a long time to file the complaint because they first raised their grievance to the school principal and the barangay officials.
The initial assessment of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center’s (VSMMC) Women and Children Friendly Center (WCFC) in a session last Jan. 3 states that Dorry showed a “significant trauma.”
“She indicated that she was fearful of (her teacher) but her fears had lessened when her family provided all the support that they can give,” the report read.
Dorry said her classmate wiped the blood from her head with a piece of paper.
“My teacher did not mind treating my wound,” she said.
Her eight-year-old brother, who is her classmate, defended her and asked Marietta not
to hurt her again.
The teacher got mad and threatened to harm him.
Dorry’s brother told Marietta that they would go home, but the teacher did not allow them. The teacher locked the door.
“Our teacher just laughed while watching me from her chair and my classmate covering my wound with a piece of paper,” Dorry said.