sexual harassment in PH

Bulacan school suspends principal over harassment allegations

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Bulacan school suspends principal over harassment allegations
Liceo di San Lorenzo takes action after a 16-year-old student posted screenshots of his senior high school principal allegedly harassing him on Facebook Messenger

BULACAN, Philippines – A private school in Santa Maria, Bulacan, has placed its senior high school principal under preventive suspension while it investigates the harassment allegations made by a 16-year-old student against him.

In a Facebook post on Monday morning, November 7, Liceo di San Lorenzo (LdiSL) announced the action it has taken against the school official, Keive Ozia Casimiro.

“It has come to the attention of Liceo di San Lorenzo through Facebook Social Media Platform on the 6th of November 2022, 10:26 pm that there has been allegation of serious misconduct by a faculty member towards a student. Upon seeing the post, Liceo di San Lorenzo immediately issued letter of preventive suspension from work while investigation is being carried out,” the school said.

LdiSL announced that committee of inquiry will be organized to conduct an investigation on the principal.

“All employees are expected to adhere to the code of conduct for Liceo di San Lorenzo staff and hold themselves up to high standards of professional and personal conduct. Staff who contravene the code of conduct will face disciplinary sanctions, which may include dismissal for serious breaches,” the school said in a statement.

‘Feeling uncomfortable ever since’

The school gave the statement a day after a student claimed in a Facebook post that their principal had been messaging him through an alternate account.

“He doesn’t talk to me professionally [but] rather weirdly. He even tells me that he chats me on his alt account because his partner might see it and get jealous,” the student said.

In the screenshots shared by the student, the principal repeatedly encouraged the student to a meet up, even saying that he would wait for the student to graduate.

In one instance, the principal allegedly mentioned that the underaged student “looked like [his] ex.”

“I have been feeling uncomfortable ever since [we] started talking on his alt account because he’s trying to get together with me – a literal minor,” the student said.

The principal reportedly urged the young teen that personal matters should not be discussed in his official account and that their “friendship” must remain a secret.

“I’m tired of keeping it all to myself. I’m scared and afraid. Instead of having a new environment, he gave me a traumatizing one,” the student said in the post.

Several more students and alumni commented on the post with screenshots of conversations showing alleged proof of Casimiro’s supposed abuse and harassment, including stories of groping, threats, and meetups in exchange for money.

In a statement to Rappler, Enough is Enough (EIE), a group of survivors of sexual harassment campaigning to stop abuse in schools, reiterated its call for the Department of Education (DepEd) to implement child protection policies covering both private and public schools.

The group said the incident in the private school was “proof that campus predators do not differentiate between the kind of school an individual attends, and neither should the country’s anti-abuse and anti-harassment laws.”

“Without these, the fate of reports by victim-survivors from private schools are left to be handled through their respective bureaucratic processes,” EIE said. “Our policies should be enough to ensure the safety and security of all students, regardless of whether they are from a public or private institution.”

EIE was formed after reports of sexual abuse surfaced from public schools, including the Philippine High School for the Arts, and Bacoor National High School.

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Recently, DepEd Order No. 49 was issued to prohibit teachers from having interactions, relationships, and communications, including in social media, with students outside the school setting.

In the Philippines, victims have often taken to social media to come forward, showing screenshots of conversations with their teachers harassing them on social media platforms. – Dexter Barro/

Dexter Barro is a Rappler intern studying in Bulacan State University. This article was done under the supervision of Rappler staff and his copy was vetted by editors.

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