By Pet Melliza
We sighed with relief hearing the news that the regional trial court (RTC) in Cebu ordered a Catholic school to let march for her graduation the girl who the nuns excluded from the commencement rites. We joined the family celebrate in its legal victory that spared it and the girl from public humiliation.
Or so we thought. It turned out that there were five girls, not one, kept out from the graduation ceremonies, which the school implemented in defiance of the TRO.
Published reports told us that the high school senior’s trouble began when the nuns discovered the photos of her that she had had posted in her social network account.
There was nothing wrong in those pictures except that in some, she was wearing two-piece swimming attire. The shots were taken in a wholesome family excursion in a beach where people were expected to swim and so, wear swimming gear, that is, the conventional bathing suit or bikini for girls, and a trunk for boys.
The family and friends were not offended by her photos but the nuns were.
The pictures of the minor in bikini offended their religious fervor, better still, their sanctimoniousness that their only solution is to exorcise the evil to tell the whole world of their own brand sanctity.
Wearing bikini and posting them in cyberspace is indecent, evil, immoral, mortal sin and what-not, and therefore deserving of punishment in hell, if we went by the nuns’ argument.
The girl is a minor and may be in need of counseling but the least she deserves is to be kicked out of school or locked out from the graduation ceremonies which to many young people and adults happen once in a lifetime and therefore, must be cherished.
Her counsel on TV said that the decision sanctioning her was handed down arbitrarily in violation of due process that entitles one to be heard. She was supposed to air her side and argue her case, which the offended nuns denied her.
In this modern age, knowledge, enlightenment and access to information has been democratized. It is no longer the monopoly of the elite of the Dark Ages – a very tiny class called “clerics”, so-called, because of their ability to read and right. Public education and the spread of private learning institutions enabled more people gain access to knowledge and information.
That means, in that academic community, knowledge is not the monopoly of the owners, the nuns.
Memorizing and retaining information, building up or stocking up knowledge and developing the capacity for critical thought are behavioral outcomes that many schools profess to give their students.
In the case of the girls who posted their pictures in the social network, they are at odds with a group of religious whose sense of right and wrong re-echoes the dark ages.
As a parent, I won’t enroll my son or daughter in that school. My kid will only be at risk of imbibing their stiff, stilted and sick sense of right and wrong.
These nuns are the type of creatures whose constricted sense of morality automatically prods them to shout themselves hoarse against the Reproductive Health Bill, calling it like their ilk in their church hierarchy do, as “abortion bill” without daring to read the bill at all.
What they just did to the girl is a form of child abuse punishable under RA 7610. They abused her by convicting and punishing her without due process.
We have here with us the daily parody of learning institutions championing ignorance, apathy and subservience.
Our kids enrolled in them reenact that parody of right and wrong, spread it around in their adult years infecting younger generations in turn.
What’s wrong in wearing bikini in beaches and swimming pools? What’s wrong in uploading in the social media pictures of bikini-clad girls having fun with their family in beaches?
These are questions that our holy nuns simply brushed aside without thorough thinking.
Reminds us of a toddler squirming whenever told to take its medicine.