After receiving a report on the presence of armed policemen inside one of the pilot schools of limited face-to-face classes, the Department of Education (DepEd) reminded their field officials and school heads to strictly enforce Department Order No. 32, s. 2019 or the National Policy Framework on Learners and Schools as Zones of Peace.

Based on the report received by DepEd, the police officers were part of the security detail of a local government official who visited the school. In a radio report, these policemen, armed with long firearms, were seen inside Longos Elementary School in Pangasinan.

The DepEd stressed that the policy clearly states that “Schools, as a general rule, should be free from the presence of armed combatants, whether they be from government forces or armed groups. Armed force protection units from government forces, if needed, shall be situated proximate to the school and not inside the school.”

“We are thankful for the support of our various stakeholders and partners in our efforts to reintroduce face-to-face classes but we must always adhere to existing policies in schools,” the DepEd statement read.

DepEd vowed to work together with their stakeholders to ensure that their guidelines on Schools as Zones of Peace will be observed, “where our learners feel safe, secured, and nurtured, are observed.”

Image courtesy of Patrick Roque

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