Schools are supposed to be a safe haven for students, with teachers and other school staff being their second parents. But it seems that this has changed in recent years, with a number of teachers and principals getting involved in the drug trade.
After a school principal in his district was apprehended in a buy-bust operation by anti-narcotics operatives, Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento issued a statement about pushing for mandatory drug testing for all school teachers.
According to Sarmiento, it appears that a lot of teachers and possibly school heads are involved in drugs, making their schools unsafe for children.
“This is very, very alarming. Even our schools are not being spared by these drug peddlers. Even worse is the fact that some of our teachers and even school officials are involved in the drug trade. We must assure our parents that despite all these horror stories, our schools are still safe and our children are properly protected,” Sarmiento said.
“Public interest dictates that we should require a regular drug test for our school teachers and make sure that our schools are completely drug-free. We cannot win the war against illegal drugs if even our schools are already infiltrated by these drug syndicates.”
With students spending a lot of time in school, it is very important for educational institutions to be a haven where kids are expected to be away from the clutches of these bad elements in society. Having teachers and principals involved in the drug trade defeats this.
Photo credit: PhilStar
In fact, the Family Code declares that “the school, its administrators and teachers, or the individual, entity or institution engaged in child [rearing] shall have special parental authority and responsibility over the minor child while under their supervision, instruction or custody.” This means that the figures in school are responsible in making sure children are protected from all types of bad elements.
“There is an increasing trend of teachers being arrested for their involvement in illegal drugs. It looks like our schools are deliberately being targeted by these drug syndicates. The case in Calbayog City, which is part of my district, is worse because the suspect is a school principal,” Sarmiento said.
Aside from the drugs worth Php68,000 retrieved from the teacher, a revolver and five pieces of live ammunition were also found in his possession. But he wasn’t the first educator apprehended by anti-narcotics officials as others have also been caught in other parts of the Philippines.