MANILA (UPDATE) – The Department of Education (DepEd) plans to strengthen programs addressing students’ mental health issues and tighten security measures in schools following recent incidents of on-campus violence, an official said Thursday.
DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa attributed the recent cases of on-campus violence to mental health problems, which the agency seeks to address “at the school level.”
“We can see from the circumstances surrounding such incidents that they are related to mental health issues,” he told reporters in a Viber message.
“The Department commits to seek out mental health experts and advocates to be able to formulate and implement effective programs to address such issues at the school level,” he said.
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte also directed DepEd’s regional and schools division offices to coordinate with local police “in identifying schools which require spot inspections of weapons among personnel and learners,” Poa added.
Poa’s statements come after a 13-year-old student was stabbed to death by his classmate at Culiat High School in Quezon City last Jan. 20.
On Thursday, a 12-year-old student accidentally shot himself with his father’s gun, which he brought to school in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
In December, 2 students of Colegio San Agustin in Makati were involved in a brawl inside one of the school’s comfort rooms – an incident that was caught on video which later went viral on social media.