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Students told: Keep graduation rites solemn

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) has reminded students to observe proper decorum during their end-of-school-year (EOSY) rites, such as graduation and moving-up ceremonies, to keep the occasion solemn.

“(EOSY rites) should be conducted in a solemn manner. So definitely, this twerking or dancing upon the receipt of the diploma does not fall in the category of celebrating its solemnity,” DepEd Assistant Secretary for operations Francis Cesar Bringas said in an interview with GMA News’ “24 Oras aired on Friday night.

Bringas was referring to video clips making the rounds on social media, wherein senior high school students of Kapalong College of Technology Inc. in Davao del Norte can be seen doing some dance moves, such as twerking, deathdropping and gyrating on the stage after receiving their diploma during their graduation rites.

The videos drew flak online for “inappropriate” behavior, with some putting the blame on the school for allowing the students to do such antics.

The videos were supposedly taken last year, but resurfaced on social media recently.

One of the students who appeared in the videos explained that they were “required” to do their antics before receiving their respective diplomas.

“Required po sa’min to do an act after giving the diploma. Cool po yung school namin and nakikisabay (Our school is cool and goes with the trend),” the student with username @sofianina1wrote on her TikTok account.

She also posted on her TikTok account a video of her and her fellow students practicing their moves before the actual ceremony.

Bringas said that while the DepEd recognizes the students’ right to express themselves, they should also be sensitive of other people around them, especially during events that are supposed to be formal and solemn.

“In fact, if there are two or three students dancing, they should be more sensitive that there are more parents that would want the ceremony to remain solemn,” he added, noting that the DepEd is still finding out when the video was really taken.

Since the incident took place in a private school, the DepEd will give the school the autonomy to address the matter or to conduct its own investigation,