Classmates of Cebu Student Barred from Graduation Rites To Wear Bikinis During Ceremony as a Show of Support [UPDATE] Court Has Ruled in Favor of the Student.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Classmates of  the high school student who was barred by St. Theresa’s College (STC) from attending her graduation ceremony, due to what the school deemed as ‘lewd’ photos posted on her social networking page, have all agreed to support her.

For posing in a bikini and posting the photo on her Facebook account, a 16-year-old girl was not allowed to attend her high school graduation ceremony here on Friday.

The mother, however, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against St. Theresa’s College, seeking damages for not allowing her daughter to graduate just because of the photos posted on the social networking site.

The girl’s mother, a doctor, said her daughter “received the shock of her life” when the all-girls school imposed “a harsh sanction that she cannot join the commencement exercises.”

(from PhilStar.com)

So What’s News is withholding the names of the mother and her daughter, a minor upon the request of their legal counsel.

An artist's rendering of the planned protest.

During an impromptu meeting held in a restaurant near their school, the students plans to stage a protest during their graduation ceremony as a show of support to their beleaguered classmate. After various suggestions from other students, Madeline Rebusado, President of STC’s Student Council (STCSC) devised a scheme whereby all graduating students will wear skimpy bikinis beneath their toga and would flash the audience and school officials after receiving their diplomas.

“Its the least we could do to show our support for her,” said Rebusado. “Whether she be allowed to attend or not, we are pushing through with this.” The students are drawing courage on the belief that the school will not cancel the graduation ceremony if all of them shall wear their swimsuit underneath.

Interest in tomorrow’s ceremony has risen, primarily among males, upon knowledge of the said protest. STCSC plans to sell tickets to interested viewers where the proceeds of the sales will help the family pay for legal fees incurred after the lawsuit.

Saint Theresa’s College for its part, stands by their decision in spite of the legal action taken. They say that the student broke the rules when she posted on the Internet, pictures that show ‘ample body exposure’. The school also stated that its policies allegedly violated involve exposure online, immorality, drinking & smoking.

Eh anong dapat suotin sa beach? Long sleeves at pantalon?! (What should we wear on the beach? Long sleeves and pants?!)” said a student who was asked of her thoughts  regarding the sanction.

Another student chimed in saying, “Ang nakakatakot dyan eh paano nakita ng mga opisyal ang litrato nya sa Facebook kung ang profile ng estudyante ay naka-set sa private (What’s even scarier is how school officials were able to view her photos posted on Facebook when the student’s profile is set to private)!”

Students are alarmed by this development and suspects that there are hackers within the catholic school hierarchy looking at photos of their students, which are personal in nature and a direct invasion of their privacy. School officials refused to comment when asked to verify the rumors of a tech savvy nun hacking student’s social networking accounts. “That claim is baseless and we would not comment further,” said Sister Mary Clarence, an official of the school.

The Department of Education (DEPED) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has stepped in to investigate the matters concerning the academic and technological sides respectively.

[UPDATE 5:00PM 03-29-12]

A local court ordered Thursday officials of St. Theresa’s College (STC) to cease and desist from imposing the sanction on two students found violating the school’s policies for posting “lewd” photos on their Facebook accounts. (from Sun.Star Cebu)

To celebrate the ruling, the STCSC and the student in questiont will still push through with their protest. Proceeds from ticket sales shall now be used to buy an overpriced ice cream for every student. No word yet if the school will sabotage it’s own graduation ceremony to foil the plans of the students.

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12 thoughts on “Classmates of Cebu Student Barred from Graduation Rites To Wear Bikinis During Ceremony as a Show of Support [UPDATE] Court Has Ruled in Favor of the Student.

  1. Saw the local news and couldn’t help but be angry at how narrow-minded STC’s Management is! Didn’t they even consider the psychological impact their decision, or should I say, lack thereof has caused to these students? Wrong move, STC! Epic fail! This has backfired against you. I’m sure everyone will be ganging up against you! Boycott STC!

    Anyway, was the planned protest successful?

    Students, be strong! No one can bring you down if you stay united.

  2. Knowing STC, with a tradition of “simplicity”, I believe the school must stick to its rules. A 4th year HS student showing pics in FB wearing bikini and holding cigarettes and liquor was certainly an irresponsible act. The “private picture” can be easily leaked and reported by a friend who believes she violated school rules. Given the student’s youthfulness, her commission of infraction is consistent with the person’s immature carelessness. I am sure the student will inevitably learn this lesson to be wise and calculating in her later endeavors in life. But for now, i think she must face the sanction. No worries because she will still finish HS but only without the ceremonial graduation rites. The parent is certainly teaching the child how to contradict institutional rules.

  3. the school has to abide what should be in the rules and regulation,I stand by what the school has decided,and definetly this situation would a lesson to other students that think they do with everything,for people to respect you,act accordingly as what you were thought to do,I am a theresian and I am proud to be,the school is a victim of what media could,St. Theresas College Cebu has produce a good number of exemplary citizens it just goes to show that they have the teachers and standard pertaining to education and decipline….

  4. A lot of Theresian alumni actually support the school. This is not just a bikini issue. She is a minor, and her pictures showed her drinking, smoking and dirty dancing. She was already warned several times but decided to be a rebel and defy the rules. Does the law say that students are required to attend a graduation ceremony? It is another matter if she weren’t allowed to graduate . It is just a ceremony, who cares? I know a lot of people who didn’t attend their graduation rites.

    In the Philippines it is common knowledge that judges can be bought. Some judges also tend to decide on matters beyond their jurisdiction even if there is no legal basis behind it. (For those of you who think it’s in the constitution, there is nothing that states that students should be allowed to attend the graduation ceremony. The Constitution is just a general rule and subject to various interpretations). If she wasn’t allowed to graduate even if she has fulfilled her academic requirements, that would be another case. But school activities are purely an internal matter!

  5. Sixteen-year-olds should not drink and smoke and it is illegal to do this in most modern countries. There are many schools to attend and if these students choose to attend STC, they should follow the rules. They can’t claim that the rules are unfair after they have been caught violating them. Shame on the parents for enabling these kids. The schools is correct in this case. Why the hell did it ever go to the court? Isn’t this city ridden with other more serious matters? What a sad place.

  6. No one should be above the law… and yes not even STC. If they feel the girl violated the school ethics then so be it, but STC should have still abide by the court order. You are operating under the laws of the Philippine government.

  7. I am also a Theresian. It is sad to know what this world is turning to. I am not surprised how the young people now defy the law of an institution that they enter to, get support and get away with it. Do you think St. Theresa of Avila, our beloved patron saint, will approve of this?

  8. Theresian’s don’t wear togas upon graduation when they graduate from high school. They wear the same uniform that they’ve worn day in and day out all throught their high school years. That’s simplicity for you. This article was obviously made up since it made a reference to students wearing bikinis under togas.

  9. STC has the right to do that if they feel that their rules are violated.After all, the student in question is just 16yrs old for heaven’s sake and yet she can flaunt her body like that and with cigar and liquor to boot….i dont knwo what she is capable of doing next in College!…and yes FB is a private and personal matter and u cud post anything there but then again one has to exercise some caution, if you dont want to be branded as promiscuous, be sure to act ur age…

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