12 July 2020
A MESSAGE TO ATENEO HEARTERS
Reports of posts in social media relating to the emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of some students of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu have recently come to our attention. We issue this statement to communicate with all Ateneo Hearter faculty, staff, parents, and students the School’s stand and course of action.
We acknowledge the painful reality of harassment and abuse happening in many communities and organizations all over the world. We vehemently condemn such despicable acts and are committed to providing a safe haven for all our students, faculty, and staff.
SHS-AdC has an existing Policy and Protocol for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults. As a matter of procedure, we strive to handle allegations of irregularities and misconduct properly and in accordance with relevant education laws, always and at all times giving due consideration to the fundamental tenet of due process for both the accused and the accuser, and taking careful note of the sensitivity of the issues involved. For students who may have complaints against fellow students, our Protocol advises them to submit their official complaints to the Character Prefects in the Discipline Office and Student Services. Similarly, any official complaint against any adult in the school is to be filed in the Human Resource Management Office, with the firm assurance of action and strict confidentiality in handling such complaints.
To date, the School has not received any formal complaints against any of our students, faculty, and staff regarding matters that have been disclosed online in the past few days. Nonetheless, even in the absence of any official complaints, our guidance counselors and character prefects have reached out to the parents of the students who have chosen to share their experiences online.
SHS-AdC emphasizes the value of human dignity and every person’s right to a good name and reputation. The entire academic community is earnestly encouraged to observe the core tenets of cyber responsibility, especially in this era of heightened use of the internet. Ateneo Hearters are reminded of the power of social media, and the consequent great and perpetual sense of responsibility and accountability attached to its use.
Finally, acknowledging the limitations imposed by the pandemic on the in-campus filing of complaints, the School will be releasing reliable contact details where reports may also be lodged and submitted for appropriate handling by the office concerned.
We continue to pray for the safety and well-being of everyone in our Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu community. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus continue to bless and protect all of us during these most trying times.