Kindergarten teacher under investigation for slapping student

CAGAYAN, Philippines – Regional education officials are investigating a kindergarten  teacher in this province who was caught on video slapping one of her students during class.

The viral video has been uploaded in several social media pages. The teacher was identified  as working at the Namabbalan Elementary School in Tuguegarao City.

The 48-second video, which was taken through a window just outside the classroom, showed the teacher shouting as she talked to one particular student working on an exercise on matching two similar items in a set of 3.

The teacher was overheard shouting to the student: "Tingnan mo lang....'Hindi ko alam?' Wala kayong mga mata....Ano ang pareho dito sa 3 (Just look at it....'I don't know?' You don't have eyes....What are the same among these 3)?"

When the student still got the answer wrong, she slapped him.

The video, which infuriated netizens, had been viewed over 4 million times as of this posting.

In a phone interview on Friday, August 18, Department of Education (DepEd) Cagayan Valley regional director Estela Cariño said they are looking into the incident.

Cariño said she already tasked the DepEd division head in Tuguegarao City to start the probe and conduct a background of the teacher.

Cariño admitted she only knew about the incident when it became viral in social media on Thursday, August 17.

The Child Protection Committee of the said school will convene on Friday to look into the incident and to know the side of the teacher, who was apparently pregnant.

Cariño said they were not tolerating the teacher's action but a "thorough" investigation must be conducted first to "see the mitigating circumstances" before taking actions against the teacher. There should be "due process," she said.

"We have already asked the division office [of Tuguegarao] to send guidance persons to counsel her students because this might not the only time that she went that way," Cariño told Rappler in a mix of Filipino and English.

She added that although no formal complaint had been filed yet by the parents of the child, the DepEd will act on its own based on the video and the statements of the parents.

With this, she advised the DepEd teachers to observe "maximum tolerance" in teaching.

"To all the teachers, as I've said, you are the parent of the child within the classroom. The moment you accepted becoming a teacher, you are already accepting or considering those learners as your children. So treat them with tender loving care," Cariño said. – Rappler.com