Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saint Therese College in Cebu: The Nuns Who Hate Bikinis



Why are we trying to transform this issue into a big one when it is not about rights? The nuns at Saint Therese is not questioning the right of its students to pose their bikini pictures in Facebook? The administrators of the school is depriving these students of the privilege of attending a rite which is graduation. As what the school said--these students will still graduate, but because they violated one of the fundamental religious beliefs of the school they are in, these students are subject to punishment, which is the depravation of walking down the aisle during graduation.


Saint Therese is one of the top schools in Cebu. It's proud of the school's heritage--producing graduates who now live the teachings of Saint Therese inspite of the ever-growing influence of a fast liberalizing Cebuano society. There is no denying that the school administrators are proud that they still hold the torch, so to speak, and doing what they do best---inculcate the proper morals to an ever-evolving studentry.


In a time where transgenders and lesbians and gays and liberality are recognized as normal, and in a time where every single thing goes, it is admirable that administrators of the school remain firm in their belief of not tolerating errant (even erratic) behavior.


Saint Therese College in Cebu is facing two charges from irritated parents. School administrators, who are mostly nuns, face two charges: oral defamation and child abuse charges. How in hell (opps, sorry po Mother!), did these upright people have committed oral defamation and child abuse? I'm sure these nuns would rather eat chili than say those bad words or they rather pray than use those wooden planks as ass busters.


"Are those the latest models I saw
at Ayosdito.ph?"
Anyway, Saint Therese College is fighting these charges for sure, because it believes in what it did---prevent two students from walking down the aisle in the graduation rites because they violated one rule---post their photos showing them in bikinis. Two students were not allowed entry to the school because they posted their photos in bikinis. 


In an era where wearing bikinis is probably a norm rather than a sin, the nuns' decision is at least contemptible. Even the RTC of Cebu thinks like that, that's the reason why it issued a TRO against the school and tried to give it to the two students.


No. The nuns were adamant---these students will still graduate but they are not to be allowed to walk down the aisle. The decision is akin to--okey, I'll bless your marriage but since the girl has a previous kid to an unlawful union, she is not to be allowed to walk down the aisle. 


The issue is this---is the school right in deciding not to allow these students the one time chance of showing the world they finished high school because of the "tiny infraction" of showing themselves half-naked in bikinis before the Facebook world?


Yes. The nuns's decision is constitutionally protected and is not infirm.


When someone enrols in a school and gets the school manual and attends school, he or she is bound to follow strictly the school's regulations. When that someone enrols in a Catholic school, particularly, and attends religious classes especially catechism, she manifests her adherence to religious teachings and beliefs which the school administrators consider sacred.


" Nuns don't hate bikinis. They can wear one, but
young students cannot."
Posting oneself in bikini is, unfortunately, a no-no in an exclusive Catholic school such as Saint Therese College, and therefore, a violation of at least one or two provisions under the student manual. 


The case is not a matter of right, because attending a ceremony such as a graduation, is not a right, but a privilege granted by the school to its enrollees. Fact is, a graduation ceremony is not part of the process of proving graduation---it is just a frivolous rite which has been part of tradition.


When you violate the student manual, you subject yourself to the jurisdiction of the school and therefore, open to punishment based on what the school subscribes.


Bear in mind that these students were not meted the extreme penalty of expulsion, oh no. You can only be expelled from your school if (1) your grades did not pass the minimum academic grade and if you (2) committed a grave infraction of the school rules.


IN the case at bar, these students violated one of the sacred beliefs of the school where they enrolled themselves in--which is the sanctity of the human body. The very overt act of exposing themselves publicly is proof enough that they violated this belief and hence, subject to the school's rules--and punishment.


Meaning---post your bikini pictures at Facebook, no questions about it. Yet, since you're our student, posting these forms of pictures violate the student handbook and directly subverts the moral teachings of the school. Therefore, it is the right of the school to deprive these students of the privilege of attending a rite, which is graduation.