Trigger Warning: Mentions of racism and physical violence
Graduates of a private school in Makati City called on the school administration to hold those involved in the viral “fighting incident” involving two Grade 9 male students accountable following its statement.
Colegio San Agustin (CSA) Makati on Wednesday said that it is “taking this matter seriously and has since launched an ongoing investigation.”
“The Discipline Group of the High School Department has been convened and has been conducting inquiries and is in direct communication with the students involved and their parents immediately after the incident,” it said in a statement.
The school also assured the public that it is treating the matter “with extreme urgency and importance.”
CSA likewise reminded Filipinos “to be mindful” of the consequences of sharing videos or photos of the fighting incident on social media as the students are minors and to avoid further “encouraging more acts of violence.”
“The school does not tolerate or condone violence. We have institutionalized our child protection policy and guidelines and constantly updated our student handbook emphasizing the importance of positive student discipline and compassion for others,” it said.
The school added that it has a program launched in 2008 in which “activities are geared towards disseminating information on negative consequences of bullying and how to prevent them.”
“We will address this incident with proper interventions upholding fairness and justice to everyone involved, consistent with the school’s core values of veritas (truth), unitas (unity), and caritas (charity),” CSA said.
The statement came after Twitter account @G9CSAracist alleged that a male Grade 9 student told his fellow student to spar with him after an argument in the boys’ comfort room on Monday.
The account claimed that one of the students took out a brass knuckle and pinned down the other student on the floor. The latter was repeatedly struck on the head while laughter can be heard in the background.
Toward the end, a pool of blood and a face mask could be seen on the floor.
The Twitter user alleged that the student with the brass knuckle “quickly proceeded to boast about the fight the same day it happened in his own social media accounts.”
“He and his friends even made an edit about the fight,” the account additionally claimed.
“Some of his batchmates say that he is known to be a racist and a bully. The victim was an Indian Student from the same batch,” it alleged.
The account claimed that the fight was said to be “planned beforehand.”
The Department of Education said that it would “monitor the developments” of the case following the school’s statement.
“We have instructed our Schools Division Office (SDO) to coordinate with the subject private school. We were informed that an investigation on the matter is already being conducted by school officials,” DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa said to Philippine News Agency.
He added that while the department has “only reasonable supervision and regulation” over the private school, it will look into the progress of the investigation.
Following CSA’s statement, some of its reported alumni urged the private school to hold those involved in the incident accountable.
“As an alumna of CSA Makati, I am outraged to see the video and alleged posts of the perpetrator of this violent and cowardly act. I hope the school takes decisive action on this matter and that those behind it are held to account,” Certitrek marketing manager Mylene Bass said.
“So if there is an investigation, make it quick and make it just. ENOUGH with this pandering behavior. There will always be bullies, but [it’s] up to the school to have the right systems in place to prevent it from turning into assault, murder or even su*cide. Do better, Colegio San Agustin Makati,” a Facebook user identifying herself as an alumna said.
“Do something about this. As an [alumnus], I would want my daughter to actually study here. Now, because of incidents like these, and you only have [to] do is investigate?” Cartech Auto Service Center Taguig chief operating officer Juan Mikael Santos said.
“As an alumnus of @csamakati, this very disturbing. Please act on this incident with urgency. Expulsion of the instigator is a must and a case must be filed against the student,” a Twitter user partly wrote.
“My gosh! I don’t know what to feel — awa, galit, takot (7 of my pamangkins are studying in CSA Makati). Ganyan na ba mga kids ngayon? Me and my sisters studied in CSA. 20 [years] ago, tuksuhan lang. Ngayon, bugbugan na??? CSA better do something about this!” another Pinoy tweeted.
The Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 requires schools to adopt policies prohibiting bullying of any kind and retaliation against anyone who reports such incidents.
Schools should also provide procedures for reporting acts of bullying and retaliation, respond promptly on the issue and protect those who provide information on the matter.
The law said that erring private schools will “suffer the penalty of suspension of their permits to operate” if they did not comply with the republic act.