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This has been the question of some of the concerned parents in the past as there were several incidents then regarding the abuses of teachers over their students not just physically but also verbally and even sexually; such complaints by the parents prompted the lawmakers in our country to create a law relating to such. It is called Republic Act (RA) 7610 or otherwise known as the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act." The law protects the rights of every child from abusive individuals, whether parents, teachers or any other personality mistreating them. Under the law, pinching or squeezing the skin of a child and the speaking of harsh words against them are a big NO. Words that could malign their person and that would result to the child’s low performance in schools. While such provisions are good, the teachers here are having difficulty in disciplining the child. In the Philippines, teachers particularly in the public schools are really trying their very best not to violate the said law even if it would mean sacrificing the quality of education, the kind of learning that the students are supposed to have. Most public schools’ students here in our country came from an underprivileged family because these are just the kinds; parents can afford to bring their children into for the reason that they are free of charge. And most of the students who are enrolling in these institutions are not properly taught by their parents back in their home on a good manner and right conduct. As a matter of fact, a number of parents here just leave their children to the care and discipline of teachers without being mindful of the truth that education is supposed to begin at home and schools are just secondary to it. The Department of Education (DepEd) too is strictly prohibiting teachers to punish students even if the latter deserve such penalty for a rude attitude. For them, no matter how stubborn and disrespectful a student could be, teachers should still maintain composure and patience so harm would be evaded. And this is absolutely the cause of teachers having some trouble in disciplining them. There was an incident in the Junior High School two years back where the teacher was conducting her class to a 60 plus students in one of the public schools here and while her discussion is on going the students specially the boys at the back were so noisy that no matter how often the teacher reprimanded them still they did not listen and continue doing so until their conversation with other students led to a very heated argument and they wrestled hardly in the presence of their teacher and their classmates and the long-suffering teacher collapsed in the midst of their fight and was rushed to a nearby hospital because her blood pressure had gone high. Poor teacher! I once asked a friend who is a public school teacher also here, on how she regularly manages her classroom of about 60 populations with no proper ventilation, only two to three electric fans covering the entire room, and how’s the learning as well. She honestly answered “Well, I will only discuss my lessons to the interested ones mostly seated in front but to the others who are not paying attention then there’s nothing much I can do as some of them are carrying bladed weapons in schools, and besides, according to her, we still have lots of paper works ahead of us to accomplish”. Surprised at her response, I asked her again, “Did the guard not check their bags at the entrance?”. She replied, ”Guards too are afraid because there was already an occurrence here that when the guard had opened the bag of a few of the students for check up, he had seen the knife placed inside it, immediately warned the students and took the weapons out and surrendered the same to the School’s Prefix of Discipline. On his way home, he was flogged and beaten by the same group of students”. So where then is the quality education in that manner when punishment is being withheld? I am a teacher and have been in this profession for several years now. Fortunately, I have been working in a private institution where I could say the students are much less offensive and unpleasant than in the public school organization. But since the start of the K-12 program in our country where there is already a senior high school then all the students from the public schools are given opportunity to enroll in the private schools for free because of the voucher provided by the government, so as a result therefore, there are now many public school students enrolling in our school. And I can sincerely say that their attitude though not all of them is totally different from our old students. A majority of them are in fact the ones giving us a hard time especially in academics as not all of them are keen enough to study their lessons. Yes, different techniques have been delivered just to encourage learning but the same still did not succeed because a lot of them are always absent in classes only to find out on the latter part that they are in the Internet Cafes playing online games behind our knowledge and the knowledge of their parents and/or their guardians. Our school holds PTF (Parent-Teacher Fellowship) thrice a school year where parents may know the performance of their child/children in academics, values and others and this is where we found out that all the while they thought their child is going to school regularly but sadly, they are just having some fun at the Internet Cafes the entire school hours. It is exactly a challenging part to us teachers, more so on imposing a penalty to them for their bad demeanor as the Department of Education is behind them, backing them up and giving us additional burden to instill forbearance and kindness in our minds and endure hardship for after all we are noble teachers! For them, it seems like everything that happens inside the classroom is simple. Indeed, it is easy to say than do especially so if you are not the one facing it on a daily basis. Added to that load is perhaps the parents’ negligence in their duties and responsibilities in controlling the behavior of their beloved children. So should teachers punish students for bad behavior? My answer is a big YES! Just so we can produce a smart and intelligent individual in the future with a heart! But let us be wise enough to do it in a right way that is still under the provision of the law. Yes, it is difficult especially if there are students provoking us and testing our perseverance for after all we are only humans facing a generation that is completely different than the past but under these circumstances however, let us pause for awhile and think that we are teachers and our work is more than a profession, it is a vocation, a calling. We are the ones shaping and molding the young minds of our dear students - the hope of the nation and the future of the world. And because of this very reason, we must model good manners and right conduct to them. So help us God.