Parents of boys punished by school over Facebook ‘kissing’ taking gripes to CHR

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12:29 AM May 7th, 2012

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By: Niña Calleja, May 7th, 2012 12:29 AM

The parents of the boys who were punished by a Catholic school in Marikina City for posting photos on Facebook showing them “kissing” each other are taking their complaints to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

The six high school alumni of Infant Jesus Academy, who were listed as graduates but were not allowed to go onstage during the March 30 graduation rites, are still traumatized by what happened, according to Arlene Soleta, mother of one of the boys.

“My son lost his self-esteem. I could feel it while he was processing his college applications,” Soleta told the Inquirer Sunday.

Soleta said her son had been accepted to take up accounting in a university in Manila, but that she still had to assure him that he would not be rejected by his chosen university because of the issue at Infant Jesus.

“But the others were not as lucky. One was rejected by (a leading university) due to an unsatisfactory rating on moral conduct that the high school had given him,” she said.

Soleta noted that since March 30, nothing had happened to their complaint and even officials of the Department of Education had told them that punishing the boys was “the school’s prerogative.”

“Now, we’d like to ask the CHR’s help. We would like to meet (CHR chairperson) Etta Rosales on Monday,” she said.

“We want them (Infant Jesus officials) to apologize in public and tell our sons that what they did was all wrong,” she said.

Days before the graduation ceremonies, the school administration informed the boys’ parents that their children uploaded photos on Facebook showing them kissing each other and that the act was a violation of school rules.

The six boys, however, claimed that the photos were “fake and a product of a camera trick.”

In a similar case in Cebu, a Catholic school barred five girls from the graduation ceremonies because they had posed in bikinis for photos posted on Facebook. Complaints arising from the school’s decision have since reached a local court.

“Unlike the parents of the girls in Cebu, we don’t have money to hire a lawyer and keep the case moving,” Soleta said.

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