The Department of Education on Friday said it is investigating a viral Tiktok video wherein a teacher appeared to suggest "potential child abuse", reminding its ranks of their duty to maintain a safe and nurturing environment for students.
While DepEd did not name the educator, TikTok users have for days called out one user, who has since made his account private, for saying that he wanted to look "cute" for a good-looking student while doing a dance challenge.
Education Sec. Leonor Briones ordered DepEd Central Luzon to look into the viral video.
"The Department of Education, as an institution trusted to protect the rights of every Filipino learner, does not tolerate any form of abuse towards children," the agency said in a statement.
Identifying himself in the caption's hashtags as "#Kapampangan" teacher "#SirLeo", the teacher in question was depicting himself as wanting to grab the attention of his student in his video."Kapag dumaan 'yung cute na student mo...tamang pa-cute lang," the caption read.
DepEd reminded teachers and non-teaching professionals to "always subject our words and actions, including our social media activities, to the highest degree of ethical and professional standards."
"As teachers and public servants, we must always champion a safe and nurturing learning environment for children, where physical, verbal, sexual and other forms of abuse and discrimination are renounced," it said, vowing to strengthen the agency's policies and activities related to the protection of students against abuse on National Children's Month.
San Matias National High School in Sto. Tomas Pampanga earlier identified in a statement the said teacher as "one of its personnel", saying that he has since been summoned to explain his side for due process' sake.
A public apology is to be expected from the teacher, the school said as it appealed for the spread of the video to stop given the measures being undertaken by education authorities.
"While we condemn the actions, the school also believes that one video will not sum up the entire character fof the person involved," it said.