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Need a help for a co-worker

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1 Need a help for a co-worker on Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:53 pm

johnlocke1290


Arresto Mayor
Hi! I'm new to this site so if I posted this in the wrong thread feel free to move it to where it should be rightfully place.


My co-worker and I work as a high school teacher in an institution managed by a strict and highly conservative religious order. A few days ago this co-worker (who is gay btw) found out that a certain student found a picture of him (wearing a woman's outfit due to an activity in his church that happened around four years ago) in a social networking site and showed it to his classmates.

We later found out that the teacher will be sanctioned because of the picture while the student will not be given any form of disciplinary action.

Note: I asked my co-worker if the picture was set to private, and he said no because it happened approximately 4 years ago.

My questions are:

1. Can the school sanction the teacher because of what had happened? If so, what defense can we make so that he will not be sanctioned?

2. What legal action can we do to the student because of his indiscretion?

P.S. We cannot rely on the school for disciplinary action because they are "paying" the school, and they would rather protect the student.

Thank you!

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2 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:37 pm

thepoetsedge

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Reclusion Perpetua
1. What are the grounds used by the school to sanction the teacher? Are the grounds part of the employee handbook in which all teachers are assumed to be knowledgeable of?

- The right to privacy is hard to use here as a defense since the photo was set to be viewed by the public, hence there is an assumption that such photo was meant to be viewed by everyone.

- Please seek the advice of a lawyer to know your possible defense in this case. If financially constrained, the Public Attorney's Office offers free legal advice and can be found in the nearest City or Municipal Hall.

2. There may be a possible criminal case of slander by deed done by the student. To be sure, please check with the PAO lawyer if in case you plan to visit their good office.

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3 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:46 am

johnlocke1290


Arresto Mayor
1. The administration just told him that he will be sanctioned because of irresponsibility and the last time I checked is not a grounds for any form of sanction.

2. We are also checking for any possible ground for sanction, and I found "Notoriously undesirable conduct and disgraceful or immoral conduct". My question is, can this be used against him knowing that the picture was due to a church event?

Thank you

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4 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:30 pm

thepoetsedge

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Reclusion Perpetua
1. I see. Maybe the administration is merely seeking to verbally reprimand your co-teacher. What is the effect of their disciplinary action against your co-teacher, anyway? Will there be suspension?

- Make sure to have every procedure done by the administration put into record in writing and verified by them, just in case there will be further proceedings to be done. That will also serve as a possible evidence against them if in case they abused the powers of their position.

- As a precaution, review any employment contracts or memos that were given by the administration that have anything to do with sanctions and disciplinary measures so that you could properly prepare your defense against the admin.

2. That is possible, depending on how the sanction shall be interpreted by the administrators. The main problem with defending your co-teacher lies with the fact that said picture was made public in social media, wherein there are options to set the privacy settings of every post there. There was lack of due diligence in part of your co-teacher in that regard in checking his FB account, to be frank.

- However, the student who made the act of humiliation should also be disciplined accordingly since his actions can also be said to be "undesirable conduct" (lest they construe rumor-mongering and humiliating teachers as desirable conduct). There should be something in the student's handbook that speaks of possible sanction against the student as well. Please check on it.

- To properly defend your co-teacher, stress the fact that the student who checked his FB must have had malicious intent to defame the teacher since the student went as far back as 4 years in the timeline of the teacher's FB wall. Connect it also with the fact that said posts were made before his employment in said school, which should be beyond the purview of the administration. Mention also the tenure of your co-teacher and his positive contributions to the school and its students, as a way of minimizing his negligence.

I hope this helps you out. If things take a turn for the worse, immediately seek the help of a lawyer so that proper legal advice can be given accordingly.

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5 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:10 pm

johnlocke1290


Arresto Mayor
Thank you very much for your help. I will seek assistance from a lawyer if the administration insists on giving the sanction without due process.

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6 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:46 pm

river03


Arresto Mayor
thepoetsedge, thanks for the detailed explanation. I learned another new labor related info this day.

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7 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:08 pm

thepoetsedge

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Reclusion Perpetua
Yes, make sure there is an investigation done and your co-teacher is also given an opportunity to defend himself against the sanctions being imposed on him. Due process is important, since it gives everyone an opportunity to see both sides of the coin.

The PAO should be able to help you out for free in your case.

Sir River03, it is my humblest honor to be able to give further understanding of the law here, with little of what I know as of now. Smile

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8 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:07 pm

johnlocke1290


Arresto Mayor
Speaking of due process. I have another question to ask.

Is it still considered due process when he was able to explain his side but the administration still insist that he was wrong and they're the ones who will declare a verdict?

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9 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:21 am

thepoetsedge

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Reclusion Perpetua
The school should conduct an investigation and gather evidence. Once ginawa nila yun, the administrators will conduct a hearing to hear both sides. After that, there will be a verdict afer due consideration of both sides. Yun ang due process usually when it comes to sanctions and disciplining employees. Whatever their verdict will be, as long as nasundan ang tamang process, is generally held to be valid as long as there is no evidence of malice or bad faith in their part (like there was no proper investigation done or di man lang tinanggap yung nakapresent nyong evidence).

Have everything put into writing para ma-review nyo kung tama ba yung naging desisyon. Tanong nyo rin kung may sanctions ba yung student na nagpropagate nung photo ng co-teacher na yun, since morals dictate that he should be given a disciplinary action as well.

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10 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:12 am

johnlocke1290


Arresto Mayor
Considered po b na hearing kung nakapag usap po sila ng co-worker ko at he was able to explain his side to the administration and they (the administration) still insist that my co-worker is still at fault because he was irresponsiple?

EDIT: Should the school have an independent body to serve as a judge for this case?

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11 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:56 am

thepoetsedge

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Reclusion Perpetua
I do not think the school needs to have an independent body to investigate your co-teacher's case.

It is presumed that the current administration is competent to handle disciplinary cases, since part yun ng duties nila to begin with. Moreover, it would be costly for the school to have an independent body to handle this situation. They are also empowered to make judgment calls after due process was followed and your co-teacher's side was heard.

If this situation further escalates, then you should appeal to someone who is higher in authority in the school chain-of-command. Kung ganun pa rin and feeling nyo aggrieved pa rin kayo, then you should either go to the nearest DepEd office or seek legal advice from a lawyer.

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12 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:16 pm

johnlocke1290


Arresto Mayor
Thanks for your help thepoetsedge and the added information I learned from you

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13 Re: Need a help for a co-worker on Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:04 am

thepoetsedge

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Reclusion Perpetua
No problem. It is my pleasure to be of help, with what little I know of the law.

Good luck in your current situation, and may justice be served accordingly.

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