“Bullying is one of the earliest forms of violence our children encounter. We must protect them from it." Angara Said.

Team Pnoy senatorial candidate Edgardo “Sonny” Angara today urged members of Congress to help stop bullying in schools after a 14 year-old high school student committed suicide inside his parent’s room after being bullied by classmates.

“It is a wake-up call to Congress to pass an anti-bullying law and institute a deterrent to bullying in schools,” said Angara, who lamented the unnecessary addition to the long list of bullying cases reported in schools.

He said the death of Lee Young Gunay, a second year student at St. Bridget College in Batangas City, was “a tragic loss of a young life which could have been avoided by an institutional deterrent to bullying in schools.”

Angara, chair of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Higher and Technical Education, co-authored House Bill No. 5496, or the Anti-Bullying Bill, which was already approved by the House in 2011. The Senate version, however, has been pending in the committee since 2010.

Under the measure, all elementary and secondary educational institutions are mandated to draw up an anti-bullying policy that they will implement in their campuses. A handbook on bullying prevention and measures will be distributed to students, teachers, parents, and guardians.

The bill defines bullying as “a severe and repeated harmful act done by one student against another, whether written, verbal, an electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, which directed places the student under reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm, or damage to property.”

According to Angara, school authorities should be held responsible for whatever happens to students inside the school. The bill basically compels schools to address bullying and provide a safer environment for students.

“I have children of my own, and as a parent this is a fight I wage for our children,” Angara said.

“Bullying is one of the earliest forms of violence our children encounter. We must protect them from it,” he stressed.