Regional Trial Court Judge Wilfredo Navarro Tuesday ordered St. Theresa’s College high school in Cebu City to show him a copy of the photos, and the Student Handbook, before he issued a ruling on a petition for injunction filed by the girl’s mother, after the Catholic school barred the 16-year-old high school student from joining the commencement exercises on Friday, when they discovered she posted her photos on Facebook in ‘bikinis,’ ABS-CBN News said.
The girl’s mother sued the officials of the private school saying the punishment meted against her daughter was ‘too harsh’ and ‘unjust’ and wanted that a Temporary Restraining Order be issued by the court including damages for the humiliation suffered by her daughter.
The school’s lawyer, Romeo Balili, said the student was cited for violating five provisions in the STC Student Handbook, including a rule against “posing and uploading pictures on the Internet that entail ample body exposure.”
But the girl’s lawyer, Enrique Lacerna, said in their petition that the Facebook account was “private” and limited to friends, so school officials obtained information that was “not for public consumption. A family or pirate social activity, such as birthday etc. does not involve the school’s supervision and control. The activity is permitted by the parents, who have the resources to support the activity’s expenses.”
Lacerna said the school should answer for the stigma suffered by the student and for preventing the Department of Education to review the case.
Under the DepEd policy, ‘when a student commits a serious offense, the school administration should file an administrative complaint against the concerned individuals.’