School principal suspended for 3 months

CEBU CITY -- The Department of Education has suspended the principal of a public high school here for allegedly initiating cheating at the National Achievement Test (NAT) conducted last year.

Jessica Abayon, principal of the Ramon Duterte National High School in Guadalupe, was meted a three-month suspension without pay based on the complaints filed by three teachers from the same school, including an allegation of providing students with a “kodigo” or written cues.

A DepEd-Central Visayas resolution signed by Director Recaredo Borgonia stated that Abayon committed “simple dishonesty.”

The decision was released Wednesday but was only received by the principal Thursday.

Abayon told Sun.Star SuperBalita that the three teachers had filed three complaints against her -- grave misconduct, oppression and dishonesty.

The Cebu City Schools Division investigating committee dismissed two of the complaints and the dishonesty charge was downgraded to simple dishonesty.

Abayon said the resolution stated that her suspension was not based on the complaints filed against her but on the principle of “command responsibility” as principal and head of the school.

She said she intends to seek reconsideration and have her suspension reduced from three months to one.

Abayon also said that she does not administer the government examinations to second year high school students because she is not the designated chief examiner.

If there was cheating during the examinations, the school would have landed in the top 10 but it only ranked 15th, Abayon said.

Abayon said she plans to ask a lawyer to file a perjury charge against the three teachers and to seek damages from them.

In an interview over radio dyAB, Abayon denied the reported intervention by Cebu City Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young in downgrading the suspension from six months to three.

She denied she is related to Young and that they are close friends. She said she is intimidated by the vice mayor.

Statements from DepEd-Central Visayas officials were not available at press time Thursday. Borgonia is in Singapore while DepEd-Central Visayas assistant director Carmelita Dulangon and Cebu City Schools Superintendent Dr. Rhea Mar Angtud are in Manila attending a seminar. (From SuperBalita Cebu/Sun.Star Cebu)