Cebu (Philippines): A Philippine court on Thursday
told a Catholic school to let two teenage girls attend their
graduation ceremony after they were banned for posting
pictures of themselves in bikinis on Facebook.
The 16-year-olds filed a law suit against the exclusive
school in the central city of Cebu after it barred them from
the graduation ceremony for breaking a school rule about
Internet pictures that show "ample body exposure".
"The... minor students concerned received the shock of
their lives when they were called by the high school
principal... `sluts`, `addicts`, `drunkards` and `cheap`,"
judge Wilfredo Navarro said in his written ruling.
Details of the girls` infringement of Saint Theresa`s
College`s Internet policy was not referred to in the court
ruling, describing it only as "some alleged indiscretion".
But newspaper reports said the girls posted on Facebook
pictures of themselves in bikinis. Newspapers have not shown
the photos, which cannot be accessed because the girls`
accounts are on a private setting.
Judge Navarro said stopping the pair from going to their
graduation ceremony tomorrow as punishment was "un-Christian"
and possibly illegal.
He also criticised the school for failing to give the
girls a proper hearing before they were sanctioned.
Navarro said the complainants both had the legal status
of children and were protected from verbal abuse that he said
may affect them psychologically and emotionally for the rest
of their lives.
"And to do this to them would indeed be most un-Christian
if not entirely inhuman," he said.
School officials could not be reached for comment. But
the school said during a court hearing earlier in the week
that due process was observed before the punishment was handed