SERIOUS MISCONDUCT: Teacher sells exam papers, tampered students' grades

Salon admitted that she changed the grade of Manalo from one of "failure" (5.0) to "dropped" (6.0) at the behest of a colleague, the mother of Manalo, to save the son from being harmed by his father for his failing grade. Salon thought she was doing the family of Manalo a favor, but her act produced the opposite result because the father himself lodged a complaint against her for grade tampering; as suspected all along, the father was not satisfied with a grade of 6.0 for his son.

As in the case of unauthorized selling of examination papers, Salon's guilt is not erased or mitigated by the fact that she meant well, or that she tried to rectify her indiscretion after realizing that she violated the grading system of the school. Two differences exist between the examination paper selling violation and the present one. First, her examination paper violation is largely a transgression against a school regulation. The present one goes beyond a school violation; it is a violation against the Manual of Regulation for Private Schools whose Section 79 provides:

Sec. 79. Basis for Grading. The final grade or rating given to a pupil or student in a subject should be based on his scholastic record. Any addition or diminution to the grade x x x shall not be allowed.

The present violation involves elements of falsification and dishonesty. Knowing fully what Manalo deserved, Salon gave him a grade of 6.0 instead of a failing grade. In the process, she changed – in short, falsified – her own records by changing the submitted record and the supporting documents. Viewed in any light, this is Serious Misconduct under Article 282 (a) of the Labor Code, and a just cause for termination of employment.

Be that as it may, the mother of Manalo, being a teacher herself, should have been questioned or investigated for urging Salon to give her son a passing grade. What Mrs. Manalo did was in itself highly irregular and should have been subjected to disciplinary action, in the interest of fairness. (G.R. No. 158703; June 26, 2009)

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