The House of Congress recently passed into law the bill pushing for schools to enforce anti-bullying policies. Otherwise known as House Bill 5496 or the Anti-Bullying Act of 2012, this bill aims to provide parents with important information about bullying, how it happens, how it can be addressed and how it can be prevented from happening in both the grade school and high school settings. The said bill was endorsed by Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III, chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture.
Explains Caloocan Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon, one of the bill’s authors, “The anti-bullying policies should be included in the school’s student and employee handbook provided to students and parent-guardians. Details of the anti-bullying policies should be conspicuously posted in school websites and school walls.”
Schools are required to submit their anti-bullying policies to the Department of Education (DepEd) within six months after the bill’s passing. New schools can only start operating after they include anti-bullying measures to their policies as an administrative requirement. Further, concerned individuals are encouraged to report any bullying incidents within school premises to the respective division superintendents, who will be responsible for reporting these to DepEd.
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Bullying is described as “any severe or repeated use of written, verbal, or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination of these by one or more students directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in a reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to the property, creating a hostile environment at school and Infringing on the rights of the other students at school.”