Did Catholic school STC Cebu fail to teach Christian values to the bikini girls?

Everyone makes mistakes. Most of us learn from them, become better persons as a result, and then move on. As the saying goes, “Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment”. In fact, we’ll make more mistakes than we can ever remember and in between being born and dying, we will commit more than a few of them. For some people however, some mistakes can be too much fun to make only once. Some will pay a huge price for doing something silly or downright trivial. When this is the case, it is harder for those involved to move on especially when the party they have “offended” refuses to move on. Such is the case with four teenage girls from Cebu, Philippines who offended a Catholic school.

According to a news report, the “Catholic school that barred four of its high school students from attending graduation rites for posting their pictures wearing bikinis on Facebook has sued the students’ parents for alleged failure to properly supervise their children. In a case it filed at the city prosecutor’s office, St. Theresa’s College (STC) sued the parents for violating Republic Act No. 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, for alleged failure to supervise their children that resulted in the children’s engaging in vices and other immoral acts, like taking pictures of themselves wearing bikinis and posting these on Facebook.”

There is definitely something wrong with this picture. And that picture is not something you can easily upload on social networking sites. Didn’t Jesus Christ teach forgiveness and humility? Or is forgiveness and humility not included in St. Theresa’s College (STC) curriculum? It’s quite mind-boggling that something as trivial as such photos of the teenagers posted supposedly in the privacy of their own Facebook accounts is considered a condemnable act by the school authorities. They are teenagers, damn it! Their brains are not yet fully-formed. Most teenagers can be giddy, loud, crass and prone to doing dumb things. The school should have just given them a stern lecture and then told to move on.

The complainants tried to justify suing the parents of the teenagers by stating that “Lest we regress to a culture of juvenile delinquency and errant behavior, the parents and the school need to consciously and constantly take to heart their respective responsibilities”.

They have got to be kidding me. In suing the parents of the teenagers, the school representatives seem to be trying to wash the school’s hands off its own failure to instill the school’s Catholic values. The children’s school fees should be refunded immediately. Besides, suing the parents of these teenagers will not stop the already fast on-going degeneration of the country’s moral fiber. It is already too late. A United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) official said the Philippines has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Here’s what they said:

The UNFPA 2011 annual report said there are 53 births per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 19 in the Philippines.

The PIA added over 11 percent of the 1.75 million live births in 2009 (the latest review year) were given by teenage mothers.

The numbers have risen steadily every year over the 10-year period from 1999 to 2009, the PIA added.

Also, it said data shows that in 2000, one-fifth of the country’s population belongs to the 15- to 24-year-old bracket–that means 16.5 million youngsters. By 2030 this number is projected to reach 30 million.

There is something to be said about the only predominantly Catholic country in the region bagging the distinction of having “one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in ASEAN”. The Catholic Church needs to snap out of their delusion. They have to realize that sex education should be part of school curricula because if the students do not get the information from within the safety of their overprotective walls, the teenagers’ natural tendency is to seek it elsewhere. And if the information they get is that “doing it” once will not get them pregnant, then the projection of the UNFPA 2011 annual report will come true. We will see more teenage pregnancies in the future.

Will the Catholic Church even reflect on why there are more and more Filipino teenagers getting pregnant? I doubt it. It will be a miraculous day that will see the Church seriously looking into the way they contribute significantly to Philippine society’s empty spirituality. There may be a lot of people knelt in prayer inside the churches but they could just be there for no other reason than to want to be seen being there.

Unfortunately, most leaders of the Catholic Church can’t see beyond blaming individual households. They can’t see the role of media in the dumbing down of our society. Noontime shows in the country even show scantily clad women gyrating to the chanting of the host. The dance moves by themselves could already be promoting the very promiscuity and “lewd” behavior that the Catholic schools are shrieking about. Likewise, telenovelas or drama shows that tend to stunt the development of the human brain and predispose it to mimic reel life in their real lives is so abundant in the television networks. You hardly see any member of the Catholic Church complaining about these things. They seem clueless about the real reason why more and more Filipino teenagers are turning to sex for comfort instead of the church.

By prolonging this drama, the representatives of the Catholic School could damage the teenagers’ reputation even further and damage their chances of being accepted to universities. They can also ruin the families’ finances and also wreak havoc on the emotional well-being of those involved, especially the impressionable minds of the girls. Just imagine being ostracized by society for simply wearing a bikini, considering that at that age women hardly think of the effect they have on those who put malice on such an attire.

This is such a bizarre case that most people would think only happens in ultra-conservative states. It’s not like the girls went to a strip club wearing their bikinis. They went on a swimming excursion that required wearing a swimming costume, for Christ’s sake!

Here’s something all parents can learn from this mess: It may be too much to expect that your kids to be taught real Christian values at Catholic Schools nowadays. Ironically, Catholic schools can even sue you if they think your kids do not behave according to their standards, which they may fail to instill and uphold themselves. Perhaps most Catholic schools today are more preoccupied with image than with substance.

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24 Comments on “Did Catholic school STC Cebu fail to teach Christian values to the bikini girls?”

  1. “Perhaps most Catholic schools today are more preoccupied with image than with substance.”

    I think we should change this to “preoccupied with image and profit – than with substance.”

    1. Substance can mean caring more about the well being of the students than the school’s narrow minded stand on bikinis.

  2. “The children’s school fees should be refunded immediately.”

    Agreed. or maybe half. I think the girls’ grades should decide how much they should refund.

    1. A refund or rebate is not too much to ask considering the situation is reaching a new level of ridiculousness.

  3. “They can’t see the role of media in the dumbing down of our society. Noontime shows in the country even show scantily clad women gyrating to the chanting of the host. The dance moves by themselves could already be promoting the very promiscuity and “lewd” behavior that the Catholic schools are shrieking about. Likewise, telenovelas or drama shows that tend to stunt the development of the human brain and predispose it to mimic reel life in their real lives is so abundant in the television networks.”

    What the media releases to the public must be controlled. This is not about freedom of the press..or something other. It’s about giving the public quality shows. I think TV shows were much better about 2 decades ago when the media was somewhat suppressed.

    1. Whatever happened to Sineskwela, Mathinik, Bayani, and Hiraya Manawari?

      I believe media wasn’t suppressed when these came out, they were just a little bit more responsible and child friendly than they are now.

      And yes, shows with violence such as Voltes V and Bioman were available to kids, however, they were completely dubbed in English, which at least aided kids in one subject for school

      1. Who needs useless science shows when KrisTV brings more money?

        Comes with bonus “family/moral lessons” from Kris.

  4. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink!!! Organized religion is the cause of most of the worlds ills !!!

  5. “They have to realize that sex education should be part of school curricula because if the students do not get the information from within the safety of their overprotective walls, the teenagers’ natural tendency is to seek it elsewhere. And if the information they get is that “doing it” once will not get them pregnant, then the projection of the UNFPA 2011 annual report will come true. We will see more teenage pregnancies in the future.”

    Now, it always was my personal conviction that parents are responsible for the sex-education for their own kids. Its the parents’ task and duty to make sure their own kids (sons & daughters) will be responsible to what they do re having sex, safety regarding AIDS/HIV and possible unwanted pregnancies, including informing the kids about the emotional part of having sex, how kids really are made and last but not least the joy, the fun of having sex.

    For the rest it should/can be discussed during school’s biology lessons/classes when the chapter “the human body” will commence. I have an odd feeling that this chapter will be skipped during all biology lessons in Philippine schools.

    Now, if the parents are empty-headed (ignorant, unknowing, uninformed, untaught or even mis-informed) in the field of sex-education (I would not be surprised if this would be the case in the Philippines) PLUS the fact that schools probably skip that particular chapter then we have a complete ignorant nation. Hence maybe the high percentage of teenage pregnacies.

    What is left, is what can be freely found on the internet regarding sex-education by the teenagers themselves.

    Except for the biology lessons I dont see it as a core part for any school.

    1. “What is left, is what can be freely found on the internet regarding sex-education by the teenagers themselves.”

      They’ll find sex ed in the internet alright, tons of it…

      I really wouldn’t want students learning sex ed on the internet, the first thing they’ll stumble upon would be porno and it may be safer if they don’t attempt what they see on the internet regarding sex. Maybe why it should be taught in class instead of self study.

      1. Well I actually meant sites like Wikipedia and sites that give real and true information. From porn one doesnt learn anything.

  6. I don’t know , if I would laugh or cry for the stupidity of the Roman Catholic Church…you could be sued for your daughter wearing swimsuit on the beach.It’s just nonsense..

    1. Yes, I am quite surprised to read about the whole issue. I could had swear I was reading about news in the USA! Looks like the Philippines is looking more and more like an “Asian” version of the USA when it comes to absurdity with regards to lawsuits.

  7. Hypocrisy and fanaticism are still present in many religions. We must remember the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. They used the sword and the cross to convert Filipinos to the Catholic faith. Many friars and nuns believed in a “strict morality code.”

    This was a form of control and manipulation on the native inhabitants. The late, great Dr. Jose Rizal pointed out the abuses of the friars. This still exists in the present time frame. We have priests, nuns and higher ups of the church abusing their rights. Controlling people again.

    Judging young women in swim wear as not within their morality standards is ridiculous. It is public knowledge that there are bad eggs in priests and nuns. There are sexual scandals involving these very people who judge online photos of young women in swim wear as immoral.

  8. Oh I remember this thing. My high school years were spent in a school that appeared in the newspapers as a hotspot for drugs, gambling, and leakages. Now those are things that an upstanding moralistic and all that crap Catholic School should go nuts over, not girls in bikinis. My 10 year old sister has a few shots of herself on her FB account in a bikini. I’ve got loads of cousins who are underage that have got such pictures on their FB pages, and they’re mostly from those Catholic Schools that serve as the training grounds of a majority of the upper level of society’s next generation. Have their school gone nuts over a few or a lot of photos? NO! They frankly don’t really give that much of a damn, unless the student in question did something that actually had done something to besmirch the reputation or image of the school.

  9. I think they are more concerned about giving their school a bad name. I’m not trying to generalize (okay maybe I am) but Filipino teachers tend to tell students about “giving our school a bad name.” That’s probably why the teenage girls got sued in the first place. I don’t know why they would go way too far with this. It’s like make one mistake, then you’re being punished immensely. I wrote a review about my school and the teacher found it and he punished the ENTIRE CLASS just because of my mistake. The owner of the school is Filipino so it makes sense why he would react to such a thing like that. Anyways, he thinks *I* gave their school a bad name when in all actuality, they’re giving their school a bad name by unorganized schedules, rude staff and teachers and we don’t learn anything. Goes to show that they are more concerned about their image than substance of their education.

    1. I mean to say they are more concerned about the image of their school. Hence, they believed that the girls gave their school a bad name.

  10. The Catholic religion is a big FAILURE. I am a Catholic but daig pa tayo ng ibang Christian religion when it comes to the verses of the Bible. In the first place, this kind of religion was brought to us by the Spaniards in order to colonize our country and abuse our people, how could it be for God? It’s all for money, history repeats itself ika nga.

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