Students told to observe proper decorum after ‘cyberbullying’ incident

·3 min read

THE Abellana National School in Cebu City reminded students to observe proper decorum, “whether personal or virtual,” following a “cyberbullying” incident involving some of its students.

The alleged cyberbullying happened in a group chat among students and their mathematics teacher identified as Hans Machacon from Abellana National School.

Machacon’s daughter, Laire Marie, shared on her Facebook account screenshots of the group chat that showed students swearing at their teacher over instructions for upcoming tests.

SunStar is withholding the names of the students, reportedly in Grade 9, because they are still minors.

“I am no one to judge. Feel free to use it as your expression but if you bring it to school or somewhere professional or use it as a language to speak to your teachers or anyone older than you, then that's very alarming,” Laire Marie said in her post.

She described her father as a good man. Machacon is a topnotcher civil engineer and a geodetic engineer.

She said she could not sleep the night she found out how her father was disrespected by the students.

She said when she messaged her father about it, Machacon just said: “Sige lang dae kay basin naa silay problema sa ilaha (Just let them be. Maybe they have personal problems).”

“If you give him any math problem, he'll look into it, study it for a few minutes and solve it. In other words, Papa eats numbers and equations for breakfast,” Laire Marie said in her post.

She said she tried to reach out to the parents of the students but only managed to talk to two of them.

“It breaks my heart. I know it's not the first time that an incident like this has happened. There may be teachers who have experienced this type of behavior from their students but it was not known by many. All I can say is, I am looking forward to how this can be settled. There should be consequences for people who deserve it,” she said.

The Abellana National School, in a statement posted on its Facebook page, reminded the students to be mindful of their actions and said it will take action on the matter.

In a follow-up post on Friday, October 1, it added that it has “reached a verdict” after careful deliberation “in compliance with due process and thorough perusal of the School Discipline Rules of Procedure as stipulated in the 2000 DECS Service Manual Manual.”

“The decision is reached mindful of the welfare of all concerned. As a reminder, students are strongly advised to be keenly aware of their actions, whether personal or virtual, that can possibly hurt others and affect their status in this school. Proper decorum is a must. Empathy, kindness, and respect are basic virtues which are essential to become a contributing member of the society,” it said.

SunStar Cebu tried to reach Abellana National School to ask about specific actions made against the students, but it has yet to reply to inquiries.

But Laire Marie, on her Facebook post, mentioned that six of the students have been suspended for three days.

“Because all the punishment the ‘disrespectful’ students got is a 3-day suspension after saying ‘yawa’ ‘kamatay sir.’ What they did was considered a minor offense daw,” she said.

She called for “a longer suspension or dismissal” of the students.

“By not giving them a proper sanction simply allows students to breed their so-called 'attitude' kay lage wa may punishment na bug-at,” she added. (JOB/LMY)

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