Source: GMA 7, Yahoo News Phil.
No less than the highest official of the Department of Education (DepEd) personally visited a high school student, who has admitted to killing his teacher with a knife, to offer advice to the minor.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said he visited the suspect, a second-year student of the Manuel Luis Quezon High School in Caloocan City, to check out the teenager's state of mind after the killing of his teacher Teodora Soner.
Police said Soner was stabbed in the back by the 14-year-old student on Friday along Ascorville Road in front of the public school, after she threatened to kick him out of school for refusing to cut his long hair. (See: High school student stabs teacher to death)
Investigators earlier found out that the suspect was a member of a fraternity, despite the school supposedly implementing a strict prohibition on fraternities.
But Luistro, a La Sallian brother, appealed to the public not to prejudge the student, especially since the authorities have yet to complete their probe on the incident.
"Mayroong panahon para imbestigahan para malaman kung ano talaga ang nangyari. Sa akin, bilang teacher ang unang-una kong gagawin ay malaman kung ano ang nasa isip niya," said the former president of the De La Salle University.
(There’s time to investigate, to establish what really happened. For me, as a teacher, the first thing I’ll do is to get to know what was in his mind.)
Luistro appealed to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to step into the issue and ensure that his rights as an underage criminal suspect are not violated.
"Sana matulungan din sya ng DSWD. Ang concern ko lang kung less than 18 siya sana hindi siya kasama sa kulungan ng matatanda," he said.
(I hope the DSWD helps him too. My only concern is that if he’s younger than 18, he ought not to be jailed together with adult prisoners.)
Luistro also stressed that getting overly strict with children usually does no good in disciplining them, and appealed for understanding from adults.
"Ang pagbabawal, hindi iyan ang pinakamagandang paraan ng paghubog sa kanila. Pagpapaliwanang ang mas maganda," he said. (Prohibition is not the best way to shape their values. Persuasion is the better way.)
This page requires a higher version browser From the 30-minute conversation, Luistro said that the suspect confessed to him that it was his first time in his life to commit a crime.
Soner, a 32-year-old teacher who hails from Marilao, Bulacan, was rushed to the Tala Hospital after the incident, but was declared dead on arrival.
Luistro, also on Saturday, took time to visit Soner's funeral to extend his condolences. The victim's sister, Mary Ann Soner, expressed her family's grief over the death of Teodora, who she described as a "very kind person."
Financial help for Soner's family has yet to pour in, according to the QTV Balitanghali report.—Mark D. Merueñas/JV, GMANews.TV