Pisay may review decision on graduation of 6 students who shared lewd photos

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 24) — The Philippine Science High School (PSHS) may reconsider its controversial decision allowing the graduation of six students accused of sharing lewd photos of their schoolmates.

This was confirmed by Senator Bam Aquino, an ex-officio member of the government school's Board of Trustees, in an interview over the Ateneo de Manila's campus radio on Friday.

"If there is a re-vote which I think is happening, we will stick and be consistent with our position which is to support the disciplinary committee's recommendation," Aquino said. "I don't know if the other board members will change their decision."

The board on May 17 did not follow the recommendation of the school's Management Committee to block the graduation of the six male students who supposedly shared naked pictures of female scholars. The move was heavily criticized by students and faculty members who demanded that the board overturn its decision.

"The BOT decision sends a dangerous message that these actions are tolerable, thus setting a precedent for all present and future students of the Philippine Science High School System," a group of faculty members said in a statement. "By allowing the behavior of some students to become disproportionately sanctioned, we are essentially letting them off the hook while the victims continue to suffer."

Aquino said he was not present during the May 17 meeting but that his representative briefed him about it. He said "there were a few" board members who wanted to punish the student offenders with non-graduation, but majority voted to "be more lenient."

The PSHS' board is chaired by Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña, with Education Secretary Leonor Briones as ex-officio vice chairman.

The school's graduation is set on May 29.