By EDWIN IYO
THE Department of Education (Deped) on Wednesday started looking into reports about the alleged sexual abuse of minors by a public school teacher in Gingoog City.
City Schools Division superintendent Dr. Myrna Castanos confirmed that there were reports that a male teacher molested minors, prompting her to start an investigation.
Castanos said she first heard the report on Tuesday night and by Wednesday, she ordered a committee formed to look into the allegations against the teacher.
“Ato kini hatagan ug igong pagtagad kay ato kining tulobagon pag protihir sa atong kabataan magtutungha,” she said.
But Castanos clarified that there no formal complaint has been filed by anyone against the teacher.
According to Castanos, she has instructed Mario Endrina, head of the school governance and operations division here, to form a committee that would determine the veracity of the reports.
“The Division takes the allegations of sexual harassment seriously. It doesn’t condone such misconduct,” she said.
Castanos said the city schools division would not suppress information, and if found liable, the teacher would be made to answer.
Meanwhile, Endrina said a committee was already created based on Deped Order No 40 series of 2012, otherwise known as the Child Protection Policy.
“Violence, which includes harassment, bullying, sexual, physical and emotional abuses, assault, and rape, is cited in the policy. The school department must uphold the dignity and security of the pupils,” said Endrina.
Castanos meanwhile urged parents to report immediately any incident of sexual harassment to authorities.