The high school students who were involved in the viral Philippine flag-sweeping video were given a dismissal action by their school on Monday, February 22.
The decision by the University of the East board of trustees to dismiss the students was unanimous according to a statement posted in the UE Facebook page.
“The students involved were meted the sanction of dismissal in view of the gravity of their infraction, which was not only a direct affront to the University of the East community but to the entire country’s ideals and traditions as well,” the statement read.
The school also promised to strengthen its programs that inculcate patriotism and respect to the Philippine flag, the national anthem, and other national symbols.
“We in the University of the East shall endeavor to strengthen activities inculcating respect to the Philippine flag, the anthem and other national symbols, and shall implement measures to monitor the strict compliance and observance of the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines by our students and members of our academic and non-academic personnel,” also included in the statement.
On February 9, a video of a student mopping the floor using the Philippine flag became viral and drew flak from netizens.
UE did not deny that the individuals involved in the video are its students and that the incident happened inside their campus. The school also said that the act happened between classes, and that no teacher was around when the 22-second video was taken.
“We lament that this act, as well as its recording and sharing online, were done by students right inside our school-the entire scenario far removed from the education our institution imparts and the values we in the UE community uphold,” Ester Albano Garcia,UE President and Chief Academic Officer, said in an earlier statement.
Section 34 of the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines states that it is forbidden “to mutilate, deface, defile, trample or cast contempt” on the flag, or allow “any act or omission casting dishonor or ridicule upon the flag over its surface.”
There were mixed reactions from the netizens.
Luigi Dimaunahan felt sad for the student, saying that the punishment is too harsh for a high school student.
“I feel sad for the guy, sa opinion ko too much ito for a highschool student to handle. Kahit pa sobrang negative ang naging epekto nito sa beloved school ko, i was expecting a lighter punishment na in any point makakamulat ng sobrang mali pa rin ang ginawa niya. I hope the guy can handle it psychologically speaking. Nagkamali din tyo noong bata tayo.”
Others are okay with the decision, hoping that it will serve as a lesson and example to others.
Ryan Pineda said this in a comment:
“Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. They were clearly aware of the repercussions, sabi pa nga dba wag daw ipakita ang mukha nya sa video. Aware sila sa ginagawa nila, hindi lang sila ready for what’s coming to them. Be it a lesson for everyone, not just with those kids involved.”
What do you think, guys. Do you agree with the school’s decision?