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Noy signs anti-bullying law

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino signed recently a law that prohibits bullying in elementary and secondary schools throughout the country.

Aquino signed Republic Act 10627 or the “Anti-Bullying Act of 2013” last Sept. 6, requiring all elementary and secondary schools to adopt policies to prevent and address bullying in their institutions.

The law defines bullying as any severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property; creating a hostile environment at school for the other students.

The act of bullying also involves infringing on the rights of other students at school or materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly preparation of a school.

The school superintendents should come up with their respective policies to address bullying within six months after the law becomes effective.

The secretary of education shall prescribe the appropriate administrative sanctions on school administrators who shall fail to comply with the requirements under the Act, it said.

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