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SC upholds graduation ban on 2 Cebu students: For sexy FB photos

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - October 24, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has junked a petition assailing a decision of a Catholic school in Cebu barring its two students from graduating for posting their sexy photos on Facebook.

In a decision released this week, the high court affirmed the ruling of a Cebu regional trial court dismissing the petition of the parents of the two students.

The SC said there was no violation of privacy of the two students when their school, the St. Theresa College, penalized them for uploading the photographs allegedly showing them wearing only brassieres, smoking and drinking in a bar.

Petitioners Rhonda Ave Vinares and couple Margarita and David Suzara argued that the school violated their children’s privacy since the photos were only for exclusive viewing of their friends on the social media.

They said STC and its computer teacher Mylene Rheza Escudero did not have the permission of the students to access their photos and used them as basis for the disciplinary action.

The high court gave credence to a statement of Escudero that it was the other students who showed her the pictures of their two classmates.

The court said the school and its personnel did not resort to any unlawful means of gathering the information as it was voluntarily given to them by persons who had access to the girls’ Facebook account.

The high court said that even if the photos were for exclusive viewing of the girls’ friends, such does not assure absolute privacy. 

It said digital images under such a setting are outside the confines of privacy since a majority of Facebook users befriend other users who are total strangers.

The high court reminded users of social networking sites to be aware of the risks whenever they engage in cyberspace activities. 

Of the five girls barred from attending the graduation rites of STC on March 30, 2012, four decided to pursue the case.

However, two of them withdrew the case after an amicable settlement was reached with STC officials.

 

CEBU COURT FACEBOOK HIGH MARGARITA AND DAVID SUZARA MYLENE RHEZA ESCUDERO PETITIONERS RHONDA AVE VINARES ST. THERESA COLLEGE STUDENTS SUPREME COURT TWO
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