Hontiveros wants Senate probe into alleged sexual harassment in schools

A senator is seeking an investigation into the spate of alleged sexual harassment by teachers in three learning institutions in the country, including one recent incident at a high school in Cavite.

Senator Risa Hontiveros is seeking an investigation into the reports of sexual harassment allegedly committed by teachers against students in several schools, including one in Bacoor, Cavite.

In filing her Resolution No. 168, Hontiveros urged the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality to launch an inquiry “into the reports of sexual harassment committed by educators.”

According to the resolution, the Senate probe’s objective is to create “safe spaces for students that are conducive for their learning and making perpetrators accountable for the consequences of their actions.” 

“Sexual harassment cases brought up to educational institutions’ notice must be resolved in a transparent, pro-active and timely manner in order to ensure the swift delivery of justice. Schools must remain as safe havens for students,” it added.

This came just a day after the Department of Education said it has launched an investigation into allegations of sexual advances involving some teachers at Bacoor National High School.

[READ: DepEd investigates sexual harassment complaints vs. six teachers in Bacoor]

“The allegations of sexual harassment in Bacoor National High School is very disturbing news and we are taking this very seriously. The DepEd, under the leadership of Vice President and Secretary Sara Duterte, has zero-tolerance for any form of abuse,” DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said.

“The investigation is being handled by our Regional Office, in coordination with the Schools Division Office. It is the DepEd regional director that has disciplinary jurisdiction over teaching staff,” he added.

Hontiveros cited in her resolution the said incident in Bacoor as well as similar cases of alleged sexual abuse and harassment by teachers in two other schools in Laguna and Quezon City.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Risa Hontiveros official Facebook page

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