Updated on May 26, 2019, 11:51 a.m.
It’s clear people are done with “prestigious” institutions trying to hide issues under a rug. Following news that male students who have “committed multiple counts of voyeurism” have been allowed by the institution’s Board of Trustees to graduate on May 29, outraged students, teachers, and parents have protested and expressed their anger at this decision.
According to Inquirer.net, “In a case recently filed with the Student Discipline Office (SDO), the 14 boys were found to be in possession of ‘voyeuristic’ images of PSHS female students which had been uploaded and shared online without the victims’ consent.” A representative from the #BOTtled up movement clears, “There were 14 male students who had offenses, which ranged from Level 2 to Level 3 offenses. However, two of the 14 cases were dismissed. The Executive Committee recommended that six of the remaining 12 be not given a Pisay diploma since they had multiple Level 3 offenses.” But while the SDO recommended the removal of the students’ names in the graduation roll, Inquirer reports that the recommendation was overturned by the BOT.
The PSHS main campus’ Executive Parent Teacher Council released a statement to appeal this decision, calling it a “travesty to [Pisay’s] core values, now seemingly mere empty rhetorics.” It further stressed that the BOT’s ruling would “begin to assuage the wounded feelings, besmirched reputations [and] sleepless nights that the victims and their families suffered and continue to suffer because of the prurient minds of the perpetrators in their wanton disregard of women’s rights, privacy and attack on their youthful, chaste and innocent persons.”
Meanwhile, Pisay’s 2019 Batch Council pointed out that the BOT’s decision “[undermined] school rules” since “it is clearly stated in the PSHS Student Code of Conduct that a student’s scholarship may be terminated after committing two major offenses within a school year. Furthermore, the same actions may make them ineligible for graduation.”
They further claimed, “The dignities of the victims have been damaged. The offenders have reduced them to mere objects of sexual desire, instead of human beings who deserve utmost respect.” Stressing, “A lenient decision is not an act of compassion. Instead, it is an insult to the sanctity of the graduation rites themselves. . . It is a manifestation of the rampant silencing of victims of sexual harassment and cybercrime done in order to protect the reputation and good name of those who have wronged them.”
According to GMA News, campus director Dr. Lawrence Madriaga “ensured that the BOT is already dealing with the matter especially now that it had resulted in protest action.”
Sure enough, Sen. Bam Aquino, a member of the board by virtue of chairing the Senate science and technology committee, said through Twitter that the case is “now up for reconsideration” in response to the student council’s statement.
Good morning! Yes we do have a seat on the board of Pisay. My representative raised the issue with me and the matter is now up for reconsideration. We will vote in favor of the recommendation of the Discipline Committee and Management Committee,….
— Bam Aquino (@bamaquino) May 23, 2019
According to Nolisoli.ph, other ex officio BOT members include Bohol Rep. Erico Aumentado, PSHS executive director Lila Habacon, Science Education Institute director Josette Biyo, University of the Philippines System president Danilo Concepcion, and PSHS National Alumni Association president Honesto Franz Nuqui Jr.
We stand behind the victim and protesters in asking for accountability from the authorities involved. We too will not be silenced until we are sure the victims get the justice they deserve.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash
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