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Sick Boy Dies After Being Punished by Teacher

5 April 2008 3 Comments

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-070-2008

3 April 2008
PHILIPPINES: Sick boy dies after being punished by teacher

ISSUES: Torture; corporal punishment; students; child abuse; child

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been informed that a
14-year-old boy who was recovering from typhus, has died after having
been punished by his teacher for failing to do his homework. The boy
and other pupils were forced to do continuous squats. The victim had
just returned to school from hospital where he was admitted for
typhus when he was punished together with other students. He was sent
home after he fell ill and appeared pale. His parents took him back to
the hospital but he died some days later.


Fourteen-year-old Jovan Samson Pascual, was a second year high school
student at the Lagao National High School (LNHS), a public school in
General Santos City. He had been diagnosed to have been suffering
from typhus. His physicians had advised his parents to avoid doing
stressful activities and to take a rest at home.

On 6 March 2008, Jovan reported back to school after having been
absent after being admitted to the hospital for 15 days. When his
teacher, Leonarda Awayan, started asking her students to produce
their homework, Jovan was amongst those several students who were
unable to do so and he and several other students were then told to
come forward in front of their classmates and ordered to do squats.

While Jovan and his other classmates were doing the squats he began
to feel ill and appeared pale. However, although the teacher had been
told that Jovan was recovering from typhus she continued the
punishment. Soon after the teachers sent him home and he arrived
there his parents immediately took him to the General Santos City
Doctors Hospital (GSCDH).

After arriving at the hospital, they were told that Jovan should be
taken to a hospital in Davao City, which is about three hours travel
from General Santos City, for him to get the medical attention he
needed. His parents took him to Davao City where he was confined
until about March 19. On being discharged, when he was being taken
home, he died in the vehicle.

It is alleged that Jovan’s death could have been a result of the
teacher’s punishment aggravating his medical condition. Prior to
Jovan’s death, his parents had already properly informed his teacher
of their son’s illness. In the letter which they had given her, they
provided explanation of Jovan’s health condition and why he had been
absent from school. However, after the incident, however, his teacher
denied knowing her students’ medical condition.

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  • Jasmin Habelito said:

    Goo day to you!. As a mother of three who is struggling hard to make both ends meet but fail to do so and had to send all my kids to a public school, I was deeply affected by this story. It only goes to show how some teachers of public schools threat their students. Please do not make excuses that they are being unpaid. Be aware that all of us are bing underpaid as this is the current situation we are all in right now.

    I hope, no I truly wish that something would come out of this and the young boy could not have died in vain.

  • Nanette Wood said:

    That teacher should be arrested for punishing those kids from not doing there homework. It is considered a felony with a big lawsuit if this incident took place in the United States. Teachers are suppose to be the role model. They are suppose to motivate the kids instead of punish them. Those kids need to know that if they applied themselves and focused on their studies, anything is possible. They should never give up on the students when their future is at hand. They need to show those kids and make them realize that they arent scumbags and losers. To tell you the truth, those teachers who punish those kids and bring their self esteem to the ground and make them feel like their nothing, but scumbags, They are the ones that are scumbags. Someone so insensitive and cold hearted, and just because they got degrees and good jobs doesnt mean that their better than the ones who are poor. I thank God for everything that I have; I got it like that and more, but I’m not a scumbag or a snob who disrespects people and puts judgement on them. Those people will be judged and Karma will hit them in the ass. Watch out! Dont think that Karma will forget you scumbags! You may not get it now, but you will get it someday.

  • Nelita Trahan said:

    I agree it is completely unacceptable when a teacher punished a child without homework. When you become a classroom teacher you committed yourself to teach the children. And that becomes part of your life. You become connected to your class. You work as a group or as a team. Just like a big family. Everyone in the classroom should be happy. And the teacher knows that not all students are having high IQ’s. Some are slow learners some are not. And maybe this is one of the reason why the student cannot produce his homework because he do not know what to do. The teacher could just said “if no homework that means zero if you got zero that means no grade until you submitted your work. And if you fail just come back next year to my class.” And that’s all. My opinion is this teacher should be responsible and should be brought to court.
    I have a 10 years old nephew in the Philippines and his head was whacked by his homeroom teacher with a sharp object until he bleeds and almost passed out because of the pain. The day after it occured my sister in law, the mother told me the story. As I was reading her text my heart falls apart. It breaks my heart. It hurts my feelings. I do not understand why?. My heart was crying. I know the pain that my nephew had suffered. He was just such a young boy, very tender and went through with this unforgettable memory. The teacher asked for forgiveness but we didn’t give any. Instead we brought the teacher to court and it is going on right now. Finally, the hearing was already started.