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Cebu dad shocked by penalty, not photos

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01:18 PM March 30th, 2012

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March 30th, 2012 01:18 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines–Photos of his daughter in a bikini don’t shock her father.

He said he remembers the exact occasion – her recent 16th birthday in a plush Mactan beach resort, where he booked two rooms for her to enjoy the day with friends.

Even some teachers were invited there, he told Cebu Daily News.

He said he allows his daughter to ‘drink a little’ or even try smoking.

“These things are part of high school life. At that age you are very curious,” he said.

The father, a public figure, asked that his name be kept out to avoid identifying his teenage daughter, a minor in the center of a first-of-a-kind lawsuit filed by parents against St. Theresa’s College high school for barring at least six students from joining graduation rites scheduled today for violating Handbook rules on proper conduct.

A court order stopping STC officials from imposing the penalty has given the families some relief, but they still worry how the ceremony itself will unfold today.

“The news is all over and it is very traumatic for her,” said the father of the 16-year-old, whose parents separated several years ago.

“I hope they won’t be separated from the rest of the graduates. If the roll call is alphabetical then it should be alphabetical. I pity the kid because she’s undergone trauma. It’s enough that the kid has been traumatized,” he said.

He said his daughter studied in STC which is run by the Missionaries Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM), from prep to high school and this was was the first time she had committed an “offense”.

He said he tried pleading with the principal in her office to lower the penalty since he found it “very grave” for a first violation.

“I appealed to them and asked them if they are going to give my daughter disciplinary action how about letting her clean the classrooms or take remedial classes or other sanctions.”

Asked about the Facebook photos of his daughter which STC officials had scolded her about, the father said he didn’t find the images alarming.

He said his daughter and her friends were having fun and took photos, then posted them on Facebook.

“That was fun and candid. Is wearing bikini in a swimming pool obscene? It’s not. The sanction was just too oppressive,” he said.

At 3 p.m. today, parents and family members will gather in the school auditorium of of STC to watch about 200 high school seniors graduate.

Following school tradition, the students will only wear the school uniform: a white blouse with blue tie, a knee-length navy blue skirt, and well polished leather shoes.

No makeup or dangling earrings are allowed.

Neither are hair bangs; the hair has to be brushed neatly on the head and not cover the student’s face.

Attendance is limited to two family members per student, with tickets issued to control the crowd.

Originally posted: 7:42 am | Friday, March 30th, 2012

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