A Philippine Catholic school is witholding the diplomas of six high school boys who uploaded Facebook photos that appear to show them kissing each other,an education official said.
A day earlier,a Philippine court rejected another Catholic school’s decision to bar five girls from graduation ceremonies because they had posed in bikinis for photos posted on Facebook.
The cases test the limits of privacy in a conservative Catholic nation that is also among the world’s most prolific users of social networking sites.
Department of Education officer Samuel Mergenio said in a interview that the six boys told him they had taken prank photos to make it appear that their lips touched. One of the boys uploaded the pictures on Facebook and mistakenly made them available to others,Mergenio said.
The pictures were not taken at the boys’ school,Infant Jesus Academy in the Manila suburb of Marikina,but the students were wearing school uniforms,he said.
Mergenio said the school’s chancellor informed the department late yesterday that the boys will be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies but “the release of their diplomas will be delayed.”
He said the school did not say when the diplomas will be handed over and that he was awaiting a formal written report from the school. The school chancellor was not immediately available for comment today.
Yesterday,a judge in central Cebu city issued a restraining order against St. Theresa’s College High School,ordering it to allow the five students who appeared in the bikini photos to take part in today afternoon’s graduation ceremonies.
The school,which declined to comment to The Associated Press,asked the court to reconsider. The girls’ lawyer,Cornelio Mercado,said today that the school was still insisting on banning the students while its motion for reconsideration is pending.