Fadli, Batam, Riau Islands – A religious studies teacher at SMKN 1 state vocational high school in Anambas regency, Riau Islands, is to be slapped with a warning letter after calling a female student lonte (prostitute), which led her to drop out of school as she was "traumatized" by the verbal abuse.
Riau Islands Child Protection Commission (KPPAD) head Erry Syahrial said the bullying case was discussed in a hearing on Tuesday with the Riau Islands Legislative Council's Commission IV, which oversees, among other things, education and child protection.
"The [hearing] concluded that [the student] can continue education at the school of her choice while the teacher will be sanctioned with a warning letter," Erry told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
Erry said that the female student would enter SMKN 2 Tanjungpinang vocational high school after she moves from her home in Anambas regency. The KPPAD had also assisted the student by having a psychologist counsel her, he added.
"This case has been resolved and will not be handed over to the police," Erry said.
Tugiono, the principal of SMKN 1 Anambas, said the situation arose when the religious studies teacher saw the female student riding a motorcycle with a boy, who was presumed to be her boyfriend, on Nov. 2, 2019. They were seen to be holding hands at that time.
"The teacher reprimanded them for their actions, but this was ignored. The teacher was irritated to be ignored and proceeded to say the derogatory word," Tugiono said.
The teacher reportedly called the student lonte in public, prompting other students at the school to refer to her by this demeaning term on a regular basis, to the point she decided to drop out of school after enduring constant verbal harassment.
Tugiono said the matter has been sorted out through the district administration, but it recently reemerged on social media and become viral. "The case has been resolved and we will follow the decision made in [Tuesday's] hearing," he added.
Erry also said his institution recommended that every school introduce a children's rights convention to teachers to increase awareness about child protection at school. He added that schools need to publicize children's duties and rights, as well as the Education and Culture Ministry's Law No. 82/2015 on violence prevention and management in school.
Commission IV vice deputy chairman Sirajuddin Nur said that the hearing had resulted in a "win-win solution" in the case, especially as the teacher would be reprimanded for the action.
"The teacher should never repeat their action by saying such improper words again. Teachers should educate their students by upholding morals, ethics and cultural values," he said, adding that he hoped similar cases would not be repeated in the future. (dpk)