CEBU CITY—A Catholic school that barred four of its high school students from attending graduation rites for posting their pictures wearing bikinis on Facebook has sued the students’ parents for alleged failure to properly supervise their children.
In a case it filed at the city prosecutor’s office, St. Theresa’s College (STC) sued the parents for violating Republic Act No. 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, for alleged failure to supervise their children that resulted in the children’s engaging in vices and other immoral acts, like taking pictures of themselves wearing bikinis and posting these on Facebook.
The complaint was signed by STC Directress Sr. Purisima Pe, assistant high school department principal Musollini Yap and three private citizens—Salome B. Lape, Maria Teresa V. Atienza and Jo-ann A. Zaldumbide, who are either parents or alumna of the school.
“Lest we regress to a culture of juvenile delinquency and errant behavior, the parents and the school need to consciously and constantly take to heart their respective responsibilities,” said a statement issued by lawyers Joan Largo and Bernardito Florido on behalf of the complainants.
“We wish to affirm the overriding responsibility of parents to partner with the school in molding their children into persons of character and integrity,” it said.
The students’ parents earlier sued STC for damages, demanding P1.5 million. The parents also sued STC officials for alleged verbal abuse against the students and for violating a law against voyeurism when the students’ pictures were made public to justify the students’ being barred from graduation rites.
In its suit, STC said the parents “failed to instill in them (students) the virtues required to be instilled in these minors, both by law and traditions.”
STC said the parents “encouraged these minor children to engage in immoral and dissolute life.”
The students’ offenses were detailed in an affidavit executed by STC officials. These include drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking in public and displaying themselves wearing only underwear.
Lawyer Cornelio Mercado, counsel of the parents, described the case as ridiculous. “They are aggravating the issues,” said Mercado.