Sen. Bongbong Marcos is puzzled by the quick departure from the country of the British School Manila (BSM) teacher who allegedly scolded for plagiarism the student who killed himself last February 6.
This developed on Tuesday during a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, presided over by its vice chairman, Sen. Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III, as Natalie Mann, the IB Coordinator of BSM, was found to have slipped out of the country just almost a month after Liam Joseph Madamba, one of the top graduating students of the school, jumped from the 6th floor of Dela Rosa carpark building on February 6 and died at the Makati Medical Center.
“Why did she leave…. why has she never taken the opportunity to explain the precise circumstances that happened? Up to this day, the family (of Madamba) cannot figure out what happen here and what seems to be rapid departure (of Mann) from the country does not help things at all,” Marcos said.
During the hearing, an affidavit of Mann was submitted to the committee explaining her side, but Marcos was dismayed since she had never explained personally to Madamba’s family what happened when she met him and another student on February 5 where both students allegedly “revealed and admitted the plagiarism immediately” in essays for the subject “Theory of Knowledge (TOK).”
“What kind of process did Mrs. Mann and her line-managers undertake to determine plagiarism? And how is a serious charge concluded without the parents involved?” Trixie, the mother of the Madamba, said during the hearing.
Mann allegedly scolded, shamed and humiliated Madamba, which caused him depression believed to be the factor that drove him to take his own life.
Trixie told the panel that her son was made to write a letter of apology addressed to the entire student body.
“Did Mrs. Mann explain to Liam that it was going to be delivered to the audience, or was it just a ‘make believe’ audience to further increase the reflection process? If it was a ‘make believe’ audience, then isn’t it just the most cruel form of punishment a teacher can give a child who does not know better?” she said.