MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) has taken action in response to the tragic incident involving a Grade 5 student, announcing a 90-day suspension for the teacher accused of slapping the student who, sadly, passed away. The suspension is being implemented as a preventive measure while an investigation is underway.
The male student at the center of this incident, Francis Jay Gumikib, tragically died, and a death certificate released on October 5 listed the cause of death as brain edema. This certificate cited “suspected presumptive pulmonary tuberculosis” and “child physical abuse” as contributing factors to his untimely passing.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun brought attention to an important detail, stating that the death certificate lacked a crucial piece of information: the specific cause of the brain hemorrhage, which should have been listed under “underlying cause of death.” Dr. Fortun also pointed out that, apart from trauma, hemorrhage can result from an uncommon condition known as meningoencephalitis.
Elena Minggoy, the grieving mother of the 14-year-old student, revealed that the teacher had reportedly slapped her son after he was scolded during their exams at Peñafrancia Elementary School in Antipolo City. The incident has sparked outrage and disbelief within the community.
Tragically, Gumikib passed away on October 2, three days after he was hospitalized and fell into a coma. His untimely death has left a deep impact on those who knew him, and many are seeking justice for this tragic loss.
The Department of Education has invoked DepEd Order No. 40, commonly referred to as the Child Protection Policy. This policy explicitly forbids teachers from using corporal punishment to discipline students, encompassing any disciplinary act that involves “physical, humiliating, or degrading punishment.” This directive underscores the importance of ensuring the well-being and safety of students in all educational institutions.
The incident has raised questions about the safety and well-being of students in the Philippines’ educational system and has triggered a call for stricter enforcement of policies protecting students from harm and abuse.
As the investigation unfolds, DepEd continues to work diligently to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all students. The tragic loss of Francis Jay Gumikib serves as a stark reminder of the importance of ensuring the well-being of every child within the educational system. Further details surrounding the investigation and any potential legal actions against the teacher accused of the slapping incident are anticipated in the coming weeks.