Editorial: Similarities, not differences-A A +A
Friday, February 8, 2013
THE sex scandal involving a female student of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJR) and the action taken by the school administration has naturally drawn comparisons to the controversial posting on Facebook by five St. Theresa’s College (STC) students of “lewd” photos of themselves and the reaction of the nuns running the school.
Much of the comparisons, though, seem merely intended to once again put the STC nuns on the spot. To recall, the school administration received flak for its decision not to allow the students to join the school’s graduation rites.
In contrast, USJR officials are being praised for not imposing penalty on the girl in the sex video and instead helping her graduate.
This is where the comparisons might be unfair. The tendency to color the USJR actions as all white and those of STC as all black could hamper efforts to be objective in comparing their responses to different situations. Objectivity requires the purging of built-in biases.
As they say, comparisons are odious. USJR, for example, is dealing with a problem different from what STC encountered. The two schools also have different rules and their officials differ in approaches. Which brings to mind the “comparing apples and oranges” cliché.
The better approach would be viewing the similarities, like what Dr. Rene Bullecer of the pro-life Human Life International-Filipinas noted in a radio interview. Both USJR and STC are Catholic schools, he pointed out and yet they had to deal with controversial acts that involved their students.
Perhaps, Bullecer said, Catholic schools should meet and thresh out problems, if there are any, in the molding of their students. He also talked about the bad influences that schools have to contend with outside of the campuses. (Like, why are operations of night spots near schools proliferating and are being tolerated?)
That point, though, maybe an overreaction considering the lack of deeper study on the activities of students in Catholic schools. It could be that what students are doing in non-sectarian schools may not be different, only that these haven’t come out in the open.
Still, it pays to consider the observation. The incidents involving STC and USJR can be used to ensure that Catholic education will continue to be relevant in the present setup.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 09, 2013.