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San Juan National High School Students Meet Person Deprived of Liberty

“We are all living our lives or perhaps, we are just taking different directions. If we committed mistakes, what matters most is how we make it right. Today is a learning experience not for you, but for us as well. We definitely learned a lot from you.” This was the message of the Assistant Principal of San Juan National High School (SJNHS) who also happens to be the adviser of Deustch Club to the persons deprived of liberty at San Juan City Bureau of Jail and Management Penology (BJMP) Female Dorm last January 29, 2019.

As part of the community outreach of SJNHS, officers of various clubs such as Mary Help of Christians Crusade (MHCC), Mother Club, Readers’ Guild and Deustch Club pooled together to meet the detainees of the said dorm.

Through the coordination of Mrs. Maria Carlyn C. Biluan, adviser of Mother Club and Mrs. Sheila Roz F. Sumio of MHCC, this worthy endeavour was made possible. A letter was addressed to Jail Inspector (JInsp) Rhodora Mendoza, asking for permission to conduct an outreach activity. Upon receipt of the letter by Warden Mendoza, she secured clearance from the BJMP Main Office as protocol.

The program began with an opening remarks by JInsp Rhodora Mendoza. Mrs. Sumio introduced the teachers and the students from their respective clubs and organizations to the crowd.

Each student had an opportunity to meet the detainees. At first, students were nervous because it was their first time to enter a prison, moreover, talk to a prisoner. But as they were having conversation with the female detainees, they began to understand their situation. They learned that persons deprived of liberty are still humans who deserved to be respected. They need love and we should not judge them because of their past. During the meeting of the students and detainees, there were police officers around to secure safety of students and teachers.

To date, the San Juan City BJMP Female Dorm has sixty five (65) detainees. According to Warden Mendoza, the population inside is unstable because their cases are still being heard. If they are proven guilty, they will be transferred to the Bureau of Corrections but if not, they will be freed. Furthermore, she also mentioned that the 90% of the cases are drug related.

The activity ended with the distribution of sanitary packs among detainees. As a final act of camaraderie, students bid farewell to them with a shake hand and a hug. Exposing students to real-life situations like this is truly memorable and a learning experience.

Advisers of different clubs preparing the sanitary pack to be given to the Students face to face with persons deprived of liberty. 65 detainees.

Article written by:

Sheila Roz F. Sumio (SJNHS Teacher)

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