A teacher whose TikTok video became the subject of a Department of Education investigation has apologized, a group of mentors said on November 8, 2021.
The teacher's viral clip, which spurred discussions on "potential child abuse," was only meant for "fun," Benjo Basas, Teacher's Dignity Coalition national chairperson, said.
“Naglabas na ng apology yung ating teacher po dito at sinabi niyang yon ay katuwaan lang," he said in a TeleRadyo interview.
"He’s man enough na tanggapin yung possible na pagkakamali sa kainyang ginawa," he said.
Identifying himself in the caption's hashtags as "#Kapampangan" teacher "#SirLeo", the teacher said he wanted to look "cute" for a good-looking student while doing a dance challenge
"Kapag dumaan 'yung cute na student mo...tamang pa-cute lang," the caption read on his Tiktok video.
The DepEd last week launched an investigation into the video and reminded teachers to maintain a safe and nurturing environment for students.
While there is no problem with an investigation, Basas said he feels hurt for teachers that DepEd quickly issued a statement on "potential child abuse" to the media.
"Medyo masakit lang sa amaing mga teacher na mayroon agad potential abuse," he said. “Hindi po namin sinasabi na walang kasalanan yung teacher. Ang sabi nga namin baka mayroong kasalanan eh pero to establish yung kasalanan po na ito, kailangan pong imbestigahan," he said.
Basas said only the investigation's results would determine the character of a teacher in terms of reputation and cases.
"Yung imbestigasyon po ang magsasabi kung yung teacher ba talaga ay masamang tao, yung teacher ba talaga ay mayroong bad character, mayroong bad reputatation, may mga dati nang mga kaso. Kung wala naman po ibig sabihin eh malinis naman yung teacher," he said.