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Tutor who hit student still in same school

First Posted 13:11:00 06/12/2009

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EMBATTLED teacher Vigil Lanquino can still continue teaching at the Don Carlos Gothong National High School despite the child abuse charges filed against her, according to an education official in Cebu City.

Dr. Lorna Rances, Cebu City Schools Division Superintendent, said she will have to wait for an order from the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd) which has the authority to impose discipline.

?I will just wait for direction from our superiors because I am not the disciplining authority,? she said.

Dr. Recaredo Borgonia, Rances, DepEd-7 director, said he had yet to determine if there was an administrative complaint against Lanquino for humiliating and hitting her student in 2003.

He pointed out that he was not yet with the DepED-7 when the incident happened in March 2003.

The Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas filed child abuse charges against Lanquino for hitting her with her knuckles inside the school library in barangay San Nicolas, Cebu City. The student was 14 years old at that time.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by the sophomore student in June 2003 who claimed that Lanquino saw him inside the library and told him in a loud voice: ?Ikaw ha absenos kaayo ka (hey you, you are a frequent absentee). She then rapped his head with her knuckles.

The complainant said he lost the interest in attending her classes because he was afraid that he might be hit and ridiculed again.

In her counter-affidavit, Lanquino said the student fabricated the allegation to get back at her for giving him a failing grade of 72 inEnglish.

Lanquino, still an English teacher for sophomore students in the public school, reported for work yesterday, according to the Benedicta Arcilla, principal of Don Carlos Gothong National High School.

Arcilla said she called Lanquino yesterday to ask about this case because this happened when Arcilla was not yet assigned in Gothong.

Lanquino was surprised about the filing of the charges because she had settled the case with the boy's mother, the principal said.

She described Lanquino as a ?good teacher.? Except for the case filed by the sophomore, there was no other case filed against Lanquino.

District supervisor Vicky Mansueto said that since the case was pending in court, it?s up to the judge to decide.

But she said she gave Lanquino a piece of advice.

?Next time, don't touch your students because parents today are difficult. If you just tap the shoulder of their children, they would take it wrongly. If you just put your arms on their shoulder, they already consider it sexual harassment.? Mansueto said in Cebuano. /Correspondent Jhunnex Napallacan with a report from Reporter Ador Mayol

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