Parents sue school for keeping son’s papers

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A couple sued  a private school in Cebu City after it withheld pertinent documents of their son whom they transferred to another educational institution.

The couple asked  the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City to issue a writ of mandatory injunction for the immediate release of Form 137 and other supporting documents of their son.

The form refers  to the high school documents of a student and includes school grades.

The couple is seeking  P1500,000 in damages and P50,000 in litigation costs.

Named defendants in the case were Harvest Christian School International (HCSI) administrator Arturo Tangal, its former teacher Abigail Namocatcat, and school principal,  Plurylr Bucol.

On July 16, 2008, the couple’s son said he no longer wanted to go back to school after Namocatcat threw an “inch-thick workbook” at him.

The boy claimed he was hit in  the arms and stomach when he tried to cover his face.

He told his parents that he was asking his classmate something when the teacher  caught him talking.

“The boy  was scolded for not being attentive in front of class,” the plaintiff’s lawyer Joyce Adlao said.

The boy, who was in Grade 2 when the incident happened, refused to return to school for fear that  the teacher would throw a book at him again.

When the matter was not satisfactorily resolved with the  school principal, the parents  decided to transfer the boy to another school.

On April 27, 2011,   the couple  received a notice from  the school asking them to settle their account of P23,221.87 for their son’s  stay in the school. The amount included interest and payables.

The plaintiffs said HCSI refused to release the Form 137 of their son for non-payment of the school tuition.

With this development, they said the fear their  son may not be able to join his graduation ceremony on March 2013.

“Defendants’ act of withholding the Form 137 of the boy is a violation of the constitutional rights,” Adlao said.

An official of the school, who requested anonymity, told Cebu Daily News that the school  has the  right to demand payment from the plaintiffs.

“This is not a public school. I don’t want to comment because the case is already in court. Our lawyer is taking care of it,” he said.

The school official denied the allegations of the couple.

He also said Namocatcat is no longer connected with the school. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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