The Department of Education (DepEd) strongly condemned on Thursday the reported hazing incident that claimed the life of a Grade 10 student in San Enrique, Negros Occidental.
In a news statement, the DepEd reiterated that they are against “any form of violence perpetrated against learners.”
“We deeply regret and sympathize with the family during this difficult time and pray that they be accorded the justice that they deserve,” DepEd said. The victim died on September 9 due to hematoma.
The parents reported to the hazing incident to authorities on September 11, narrating that the victim, who was celebrating his 18th birthday on September 3, had a drinking session with three male teenagers who are reportedly members of a fraternity. After their drinking session, the victim went with them.
The victim, however, complained of not feeling well when he returned home the next day.
The DepEd reminded that the Anti-Hazing Act that prohibits the conduct of hazing or any initiation rites associated with fraternities, sororities and similar organizations should be strictly implemented.
“We have released issuances prohibiting the practice of hazing in schools and imposed sanctions for violations,” DepEd said.
Under DepEd Order No. 7, s. 2006, titled “Reiterating the prohibition of the practice of hazing and the operation of fraternities and sororities in elementary and secondary schools,” schools are instructed to coordinate with local units of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Philippine National Police in order to monitor and control the proliferation of fraternities, sororities and similar organizations in elementary and secondary schools in their respective areas.
In addition, DepEd Order No. 3, s. 2021, the Child Protection Unit which the department institutionalizes DepEd’s commitment to a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of abuse, exploitation, discrimination and bullying.
Any act of gang-related or fraternity violence committed by learners shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of DepEd Order No. 18, s. 2015 or the Guidelines and Procedures on the Management of Children-At-Risk and Children in Conflict with the law.
“The Department will ensure that investigations will be carried out immediately. We enjoin our schools to take a more active role in the prevention of violence.”