We really should be looking more into the psychological profiles of our school teachers.
Last week, Delmar Redota, a nine year-old second grade pupil of the Silangan Elementary School in Barangay Upper Bicutan passed away, a week after being forced to eat pencil shavings by a teacher as punishment for supposedly being mischievous. The ingestion of pencil shavings apparently led to the girl contracting tonsilitis and pneumonia, which led to her death. Read the full story here on INQ7.net.
The teacher, Brenda Elbambuena, is believed to be in hiding.
The victim's mother, Diana Redota, for one reason or another, or perhaps due to lack of resources, doesn't seem to be inclined to press charges, and only wishes for her daughter have a decent burial.
Considering that teachers exercise substitute parental authority and are responsible for our children's safety whenever they are in school, I think Elbambuena should be made to answer for the grim fate suffered by Delmar.
Surely we can't ignore this act of cruelty which led to the untimely death of a girl yet to reach her prime. She deserves nothing less than justice.
I remember a similar personal experience more than twenty years ago when I was still in elementary school. A teacher (teaching religion, no less) threw a toy rubber frog at me when the back of my chair which was being pulled by a classmate created a thud when it hit the wall behind me. The toy frog hit me smack in the face and caused my nose to bleed. My parents, out of mercy for the teacher who kept on apologizing afterwards, did not press any charges. A year or so after the incident, I heard the teacher had another outburst and injured yet another student. She obviously has some serious anger management problems.
Her apology notwithstanding, I think my parents should have just filed charges instead. It could have prevented the second incident, and sent a clear message that teachers, whether in public or private schools, should also accord students proper respect and not to vent their anger on them. Teachers with personality issues have no place in schools. While corporal punishment in classrooms may or may not be acceptable (this is a different debate altogether), punishment which causes injuries of any sort or maybe even death in the extreme, should absolutely not be tolerated, and the teachers guilty of this practice punished to the full extent of the law.
If I ever see that teacher who threw that toy frog at my face again (I still remember her name and what she looks like) I'll be sure to give her a piece of my mind. People like that have no business teaching children. And if you think about it, I was lucky. All I went through was a nosebleed. Delmar Redota lost her life.
I can only imagine what I would do if it were my child. There would certainly be hell to pay.