Mandaue Catholic school sued over bullying incident

By Rosalie O. Abatayo |January 09,2019 - 11:14 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines –The parents of a Grade 9 student has filed charges against a Catholic-run school in Mandaue City for its alleged inaction on the mauling incident that involved the child and two older students inside the school’s premises.

Lawyer Karen Quiñanola-Gonzales, whose 14-year-old son was a student at the school, said the management “neglected” her call for them to address the bullying incident that caused her son to be confined at the hospital for three days.

In the narrative of the civil case lodged against the school’s cluster president, principal and a faculty, Gonzales said her son was mauled by two Grade 11 students on the afternoon of August 24, 2017 following an altercation during a soccer practice game earlier.

Gonzales’ son, John (not his real name), and the two older students were members of the same soccer team. 

“At that time, the students were supposed to be closely supervised by the school’s athletics coach who had instead assigned the task to an outsider, who failed to settle the conflict during the soccer practice that afternoon, which thereafter led to the mauling of Plaintiffs’ son,” Gonzales’ complaint affidavit read.

CDN Digital opted to withhold the name of the school pending the issuance of their statement. 

CDN Digital contacted the school management but an office staff said that the principal and the cluster president, who have the lone authority to make a statement was not available as of press time.

The office staff, however said, that the case has already been referred to their legal counsels.

In a separate interview, Gonzales told CDN Digital that she has consistently asked the school to act on the matter since their first audience on August 25, or a day after the incident.

“First, I’m the mother and I’m a lawyer so I’m in the position to act legally on this. Despite the length of time that we have given the school to settle this controversy, it’s as if they don’t care anymore. I will be doing my son more injustice if I will not act legally on this,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales also urged other parents to stand up and speak for their child if bullying is happening in the school where they send their kids.

“As parents, we trust the school to be the substitute parents. When we drop off our children at school, we should have that feeling of security that our children are in good hands. Unfortunately, in this case the school failed in that responsibility,” Gonzales said.

Due to the “continuing threat to the security of the child,” Gonzales said they opted to transfer the child to another school last October 2017.

Gonzales also said that they have already filed criminal charges against the Grade 11 students who allegedly mauled her son. 

The criminal case against the students is now with Branch 89 of the Mandaue City Regional Trial Court (RTC) while the civil case against the school is with Branch 16 of Cebu City RTC. /rcg

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