Various situations of violence against teachers in the province have motivated a legislator to present a project that, if approved, will create the figure of the Teaching Ombudsman.
In the foundations of his initiative, the deputy Emiliano Balbín (Together) -grandson of the radical leader Ricardo Balbín- indicated that “the teacher’s defender is a service project at the provincial level where it is made available to teachers who need help before any type of harassment, intimidation or violence in the classroom, whether due to situations related to parents, students, the educational administration or the classmates themselves”.
EL TIEMPO was also able to learn that the legislative initiative ensures that “teachers are victims of verbal, physical and/or material violence on their property on numerous occasions,” it added that “the consequences of the situations of harassment and violence they suffer are not they only affect the teacher himself, since a teacher with an altered emotional state, in addition to the personal suffering he must endure, significantly reduces his professional performance, which lowers the quality of education”.
For Balbín, “in this sense, sick leave generates a cost for the administration and a modification of the pedagogical proposal for the students. The damage is caused by a few and, however, the consequences extend to all the students with whom they interact. the attacked”.
He also pointed out that “in order to understand these aspects, it is convenient to remember the social change in relation to the role of the school, which has become a respected place of learning, a space where many dissatisfactions are manifested and expressed, for Therefore, many controversies. These adaptive difficulties are fundamentally of a psychological nature and are characterized by discomfort, which brings with it a feeling of inability to adapt to the demands of the environment”.
It is against this background that Balbín has presented his project, which is currently receiving treatment in the Education Commission of the Buenos Aires Chamber of Deputies. “Given the need to guarantee the safety of teachers and directors who, in the performance of their duty, suffer any of the aforementioned situations.”
The legislator understands that “said mechanism allows the protection of the teacher, either for making complaints, as well as for his defense.”
He added that “these are measures that, according to the circumstances we face, it is necessary to take. We must as a society defend the culture of respect, adapted to the current fundamental moment of education in which we all have a share of responsibility, from the officials to the parents of the students”.
The bill proposes to incorporate a subsection into the articles of Law 10,579 (Status of Teachers in the province of Buenos Aires). “To be assisted and represented free of charge, at your request, by a lawyer provided by the General Directorate of Culture and Education of the Province of Buenos Aires, either for the formulation of criminal or correctional complaints, defense against criminal complaints and/or the constitution as a private complainant, in those cases or legal cases that originate in acts of violence, verbal, physical and/or material aggressions executed by fathers, mothers, relatives or other relatives of the minor students, due to the regular exercise of the teaching function “.
It also states, as a second article, that “the General Directorate of Culture and Education must adapt its guides, protocols and regulations, related to this matter to the provisions of this law, with the due intervention in the pertinent part, of the Public Ministry, in order to guarantee the correct application of what is set forth herein”.
In article 3 “the application of this will be carried out in a coordinated manner with the Ombudsman’s Office of the province of Buenos Aires”.
“These situations have worsened” in Azul
From the Azuleña branch of Suteba, the leader Javier Cabral indicated, on the one hand, that he was aware of Balbín’s parliamentary initiative and, on the other, revealed details of a meeting related to the problem that the parliamentary project focuses on. He confirmed, as from other union entities consulted by EL TIEMPO, that situations of violence have worsened in the district.
He explained that “last month there was an interministerial meeting, justice, work and education, women, where the need to seek alternatives, solutions and accompaniment was raised, beyond the intersectoral district tables that are being carried out in the districts where these situations occur, which we see that post-pandemic have worsened. From the particular I also add the political factor, in the sense of ‘the crack’, since every time opponents of education speak, it is always with the purpose of marking that During the pandemic there were no classes, when we know that great efforts were made by teachers and with the provincial State not only from the normative, but from the economic, with different programs “.
Cabral told EL TIEMPO yesterday that “this makes part of the population believe, because of those false messages, that nothing was done from the school, creating situations of violence, which beyond what is repudiable are totally unfair, because the workers of education they put everything they had, from the strategies of how to reach each of their students to their technological resources and supplies”.
Irene Lagos, from the local section of UDOCBA, told this newspaper yesterday that since 2018 there has been, within the scope of the Ombudsman’s Office of the province of Buenos Aires, the “Consultative Council for the Defense of Teachers’ Rights.” Various sources consulted, it could not be determined that this institution functions as indicated in the Ombudsman’s website.
For his part, from the Azuleños Educators Center -adhered to FEB- the general secretary Luciano Salinas told EL TIEMPO yesterday, “about this legislative project, to look for the figure of the defending teacher”, that “it is something very new”.
He believed that “to add all the voices, it would be good, from my point of view, to call various social actors on this issue, for example, including the unions and the educational community in general, to make it broader.”
In that sense, Salinas said that “everything that is in favor of the care and preservation of the teacher, is welcome, regardless of where the proposal comes from. We will see in any case how the implementation will be.”
He admitted, regarding the levels of aggression in the teaching field, that “consultations with our union on conflicts of violence from parents to teachers, and also from students to teachers, verbal attacks and threats have been deepened.”
And he pointed out: “This is very common, unfortunately, and it is increasing every time”, not only in Azul, but “when we talk to other general secretaries in the province, this problem is a constant” in the area of our province.
Regarding the ombudsman, Salinas said that “at the time the government had met, during the Cambiemos administration, with union representatives and various social actors, to deal with precisely this: create a teacher’s ombudsman.”
He recalled that “this was cut short, on two occasions, once in 2018 and in 2019. It was not carried out because the issue of some representatives of the governments on duty was highly questioned regarding the fact that they were unaware of certain issues on human rights and others. “.
On the other hand, “they were also unaware of regulations, in addition to being people questioned about the human rights issue. Beyond that political-partisan issue, the unions raised what was the purpose of creating this, since the defense of teachers has it the unions in charge. That is, it is the union that helps, accompanies, in his career as a teacher, whether in his rights, in his duties, in his obligations. It was not clear to the unions what the main purpose was and, ultimately, they never said it. So, it came to nothing.”