As the government agency that foremost promotes inclusivity and protects the welfare of all learners, the Department of Education (DepEd) does not condone any act that denigrates or discriminates against students with special needs.
The reported involvement of the Kalayaan National High School principal Eustaquio Gagarra Jr. in the displacement of Special Education (SPEd) students from their designated classrooms and his use of the word “abnormal” in referring to the learners are now under the Department’s investigation.
Initial information from the minutes of the meeting on January 17, 2017 submitted by the Caloocan Schools Division Office (SDO) showed that Gagarra has issued a memorandum on January 3 regarding the temporary transfer of SPEd classes from Building 3 to the TLE area. However, the parents maintained that they were not consulted about the implementation.
In a statement relayed by Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Aurelio Alfonso to the DepEd Communications Division, the SPEd students were temporarily removed from their designated classroom on January 12, 2017 due to renovation and were able to use the room again on January 17, 2017, following his order to return the room to the SPEd students during the meeting between the SDO, Gagarra, and the parents.
During the same meeting, Gagarra explained that his use of the word “abnormal” was “not meant or do not have the intention to humiliate or belittle SPEd students since he’s dealing with professionals” at a meeting in October 2016.
However, DepEd, through the Department Memorandum No. 276, series of 2007, upholds the Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9442, or An Act Amending the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, and For Other Purposes Granting Additional Privileges and Incentives and Prohibitions on Vernal, Non-Verbal Ridicule and Vilification Against Persons with Disability. The Department ensures thorough probe of Gagarra’s conduct and appropriate action will be taken once it is proven unbefitting of a Department personnel.
In this regard, DepEd reminds all its teaching and non-teaching personnel of the agency’s commitment to uplift the social and economic conditions of learners with various exceptionalities by enhancing the learners’ access to inclusive quality education and raising public awareness of the PWDs’ rights and concerns.
source: Deped Website