Justice Leonen backs safe spaces campaign for students

Rambo Talabong
Justice Leonen backs safe spaces campaign for students
The daughter of Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen attends Miriam College, whose students and alumnae have bared on social media stories of sexual harassment and emotional manipulation perpetrated by the school's own teachers

MANILA, Philippines – Justice Marvic Leonen joined the resounding call for Miriam College to “do better” in providing safe spaces for its students on Sunday morning, June 28.

“I am a father of a Miriam student. I affirm and stand with her as they courageously narrate their stories and demand the safe spaces they deserve,” Leonen said in a tweet.

He added: “I expect that their courage will be honored with the mature response that they deserve.” (READ: #MCHSdobetter: Groups condemn sexual misconduct of teachers, call for justice)

What’s with MC? For the past few days, students and alumnae of the all-girls school have been taking their grievances on social media, baring stories of sexual harassment and emotional manipulation perpetrated by the school’s own teachers.

They also revealed that the school’s administration has done little to nothing in responding to the concerns, including the allegation that the school expelled victims of online sexual harassment instead of going after their perpetrators.

Students and alumnae trended #MCHSdobetter and #MCDOBETTER on Twitter last week to share their personal accounts and calls for change, marking another call for reckoning in an established educational institution. (READ: #SanaAllSchools: Students seek safe spaces vs sexual harassment on campus)

What is MC doing? Miriam College has formed a committee to investigate the harassment stories and vowed to follow the calls for it to do better in exacting accountablity.

It said it will begin accepting written reports of incidents on Monday, June 29 at safespaces@mc.edu.ph.

“We encourage all aggrieved to speak out and voice their concerns to the Committee. Rest assured that all parties involved will be afforded due process through an impartial and objective proceeding,” it said in a statement on Friday, June 26. – Rappler.com 

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.