Risa Hontiveros wants repeat sexual offenders banned from teaching in schools

·Contributor
·2 min read
Senator Risa Hontiveros, chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, said that sexual predators should not be permitted to just hop from one school to another. (Photo: Senator Risa Hontiveros/Facebook)
Senator Risa Hontiveros, chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, said that sexual predators should not be permitted to just hop from one school to another. (Photo: Senator Risa Hontiveros/Facebook)

There should be no way for repeat sexual offenders from returning to teaching in schools again, said Senator Risa Hontiveros during a committee hearing in the Senate on Wednesday (September 7).

Hontiveros said during the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality hearing that some of the teachers who have been proven to commit sexual abuse still find a way to return to schools despite their record.

Nakakabahala na yung mga tinanggal o nag-resign na guro dahil sa pang-aabuso at harassment sa isang school, ay pwede lang magturo ulit sa ibang paaralan,” Hontiveros said.

(It is alarming that those who have been removed, or were forced to resign, because of their sexual harassment in one school, can still be permitted to teach in other schools.)

Wala tayong nalutas na problema kung hinahayaan nating palipat-lipat lang ang mga abuser. Sexual predators should never be allowed to be around children,” the senator added.

(We don’t solve the problem by letting them move from one school to another.)

In a press conference held at the Commission for Human Rights the same day, members of the Enough is Enough (EIE) Youth Organization, comprised mainly of “victim-survivors of campus predators,” said that some policies of the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Human Rights (CHEd) still continues to coddle sexual predators.

They are pressing these educational institutions to act and respond to the widespread cases of sexual harassment in schools.

Sophia Beatriz Reyes, one of the lead convenors of the EIE and the current president of the student government of the Philippine High School for the Arts, said that students are having a hard time filing cases against sexual predators in their schools because oftentimes, they are discouraged from doing so.

Kahit tumatak sa balita ang resurfacing ng mga kaso ng abuse at harassment sa iba’t ibang paaralan, mapapansin at hindi pa rin maitatanggi ang resistance mula sa administration [ng paaralan], mula sa leaders, mula sa authorities sa iba’t ibang paaralan,” Reyes said.

(Even though it’s being reported in the news the resurfacing of several cases of abuse and harassment in different schools, we can still see, and can’t deny, the resistance from school administrations, leaders, and authorities.)

Hindi pa rin nila tapat na hinaharap ang mga problema na nire-raise ng kanilang mga estudyante, ng mga advocates. Ang mga predators … hindi bina-blacklist at kaya pa rin nilang lumipat sa ibang institusyon, kaya pa rin nilang gawin ito sa mga estudyante,” Reyes added.

(They aren’t still resolving the issues that their own students raise, including some advocates. These predators … are not being blacklisted, and they can just transfer to other schools, where they can continue their predatory behaviors.)

Hontiveros said that it’s high time for the Senate to investigate this issue and for the government to take steps in addressing this, as schools prepare to resume full face-to-face classes by November.

Tungkulin natin na tiyakin ang kanilang mga paaralan ay safe spaces para sa kanila. Ang dapat sumalubong sa kanila [ay ang] mga matatamis na ngiti ng [mga kaklase] at kaibigan, mga classroom na buhay at masigla ang mga talakayan, ang patnubay ng kanilang mga guro. Hindi dapat kabastusan at pagsasamantala sa kanilang [murang] pag-iisip,” she said.

(We have to make sure that their schools are safe spaces for them. What should welcome them as they return to their schools are smiles from their classmates and friends, classrooms with lively discussions, and guidance from their teachers. Not sexual violence and taking advantage of their youthfulness.)

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.

Watch more videos on Yahoo: