School official who burned students' bags suspended

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Bicol Central Academy (BCA) school administrator Alexander James Jaucian has been suspended by the school’s board. Jaucian’s rage and supposed order to burn students’ bags were caught on a video posted on social media.

“Yes, [he was suspended] by the school board of trustees. 90 days suspension without pay,” Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla confirmed in a text message to Rappler on Thursday, August 23.

Sevilla said Jaucian’s suspension took effect Monday, August 20.

Department of Education (DepEd) Bicol Director Gilbert Sadsad said Jaucian should file a leave of absence from the school until after the concerned students recover from their trauma over the incident.

“Mr Jaucian must file a leave of absence from the school not only for 90 days but long enough to provide time for the students to recover from trauma,” Sadsad said.

Viral photos posted on social media showed Jaucian allegedly ordering that the bags of students be burned after they failed to comply with the "no-bag" policy for a school event.

DepEd Bicol Director Gilbert Sadsad earlier told Rappler they will also ask the board of directors of BCA in Libmanan, Camarines Sur, to remove Jaucian from the school.

Sadsad also said that the DepEd would ask the Department of Social Welfare and Development to file criminal charges against Jaucian for violation of the Child Protection Policy.

Sevilla said the DepEd’s central office would help to facilitate charges against Jaucia “if needed.” She added the DepEd is yet to receive the official report and recommendation from DepEd Bicol Region.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier said Jaucian should go on leave. – With a report from Rhaydz Barcia/Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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