Miriam College High School in hot water due to some teachers allegedly preying on students 2
Miriam College High School now has to reckon with the predators teaching in its campus, thanks to the hashtag #MCHSDoBetter. Photo from the Official Website of Miriam College.
Culture

Miriam College High School in hot water due to some teachers allegedly preying on students

The hashtag is calling Miriam, and all of us, to hold predatory teachers accountable. By JAM PASCUAL
ANCX | Jun 26 2020

Think back and think hard. When you were in high school, you probably heard your fair share of rumors of sexually predatory teachers, illicit relationships, pedophiles and misogynists in the faculty. The students themselves—especially if they were female students—might be investigated, sanctioned, even humiliated. The teachers on the other hand? They’d end up protected and coddled by a school that quietly looks the other way. 

Is your high school like this?

Stories and anecdotes going around by way of the #MCHSDoBetter hashtag on Twitter point to Miriam College High School, the all-girls academic institution in Katipunan. Numerous women, who claim to be either Miriam students or graduates, have come forward sharing their experiences with sexually predatory teachers.

One quick browse into the hashtag search leads one into several incidents. Students have posted screenshots of teachers sending them inappropriate private messages, some asking their students to delete their conversations. There are anecdotes of inappropriate touching, and even stories of teachers actively pursuing relationships with minors. 

Click on the hashtag and more stories of alleged harassment and manipulation present themselves—including that of a professor asking students to sign a chastity form before graduation, or the school expelling students whose sex videos were leaked without their consent.

A petition was recently made to take away the teaching licenses of the teachers who’ve committed sexually predatory behavior. As of writing this, over 2,000 people have signed the petition.

Miriam College released a statement through its Office of the President. In it, school President Laura Q. Del Rosario states, “I wish to assure everybody that Miriam College will do better as it moves forward to serve other communities beyond our physical borders, and it will continue to produce graduates who are empowered not for themselves alone, but so they could help the powerless. And in the end, we can truly call ourselves ‘a caring institution.’”

While the statement says that investigation on the accusations have been “promptly initiated,” there is no apology expressed. And while multiple names were dropped in the #MCHSDoBetter hashtag, those names were not mentioned once in the official statement. No promises were made to terminate the employment of the accused predators.

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One anonymous source who graduated from Miriam shares her thoughts on how Miriam can hold itself accountable. “Own up to it is the first thing, siyempre. And then show us concrete plans on what and how they're going to change the admin, the handbook, the culture.”

She continues: “Something that I noticed a lot of my fellow Knollers have been saying on the tag is that it's truly the most ironic that MC really prided themselves as being ‘liberal’ compared to other private same-sex schools. For one, we have one of the major centers for girls studies in the college; there was a point where they renamed all our sections after female scientists in order to push for more awareness on women in STEM; and we also happened to be one of the only private Catholic schools to be run by lay people, and if I'm not mistaken we've never had a school admin president that wasn't female, and the high school in particular has only had one male principal. So like it was so ingrained in us that we were like.... different. Good-different. They really were like, ‘Here is all the means necessary for you to feel and be empowered.’ But at the end of the day they still cultivated a culture of victim blaming and traumatized so many young girls.”