In one of the personnel discipline cases I was reviewing yesterday, the respondent was complained for, among other things, being hired as a legal editor, one who not only checks on the grammar usage in draft orders, resolutions, memoranda, etc., but also helps in researching on and reviewing cases. Of all the allegations raised against said respondent, this particular one hit close to home — it’s the same work I am currently doing.
The complaint raised many allegations, some of which I later found out were valid although taking a jab at someone for the task she was hired for, was a bit uncalled for.
For one, the complaint itself was FULL of grammatical errors, something English teachers and grammar nazis would have a field day on. I found it a bit funny how the complainant, who is a legal officer, questioned the need to hire a person, who would do “such a lowly job to correct people’s grammar.” Dear, IT IS because of legal officers like you, who write and express their thoughts like you do, that people like me get hired, in the first place. Still, I find the need to thank you for your existence though, for without you, I wouldn’t have a job. You see, we work as a team. You draft your ideas, and I help you improve it. Our goal is to speed up the resolution of cases without compromising quality. Unfortunately, you do not see it that way, and that’s what makes it sad. That’s what makes us not accomplish our goals. And even if we do, we do so ineffectively and tediously.
Then we see something like this signage from a school in Cagayan de Oro, which reads: “LOVE AFFAIR WILL SURELY DESTROY THE LIFE OF A YOUNG LADY STUDENT THEREFORE THIS INSTITUTION PROHIBIT INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MALE AND FEMALE STUDENTS.”
Oh, where do I even begin? I understand the concern and the need to address such a pressing matter among the youth (pre-marital sex and teenage pregnancies), but based on the signage, I have doubts if this was a well-thought out policy to begin with.
More than the grammatical errors though, it is the underlying message that gets to me. What kind of message are you trying to send teenagers with “love affair will surely destroy the life of a young lady student.” I understand how poor choices can and may lead to failure, but destroy? How sure are you? And what right do you have to assume such consequence?
“This institution prohibit(s) intimate relationship(s) between (a) male and female students,” — does this mean students may engage in same sex relationships? I see no problem with that, in promoting equality, but please, re-think the wording of your school policy.
What’s most striking, for me though, is the last sentence of a news article that reads, “Last school year, six students were expelled from the school for violating the prohibition.” Again, I see the need to address such concern, but why must we stop these teenagers from finishing their studies despite and because of what has happened to them? If our role is to educate, nurture, and be the source of knowledge for the youth, then why are we suppressing them of their right to learn, grow, and make something of their lives? If the student, despite the ‘unfortunate’ circumstance of getting pregnant, or violating such prohibition, expresses the desire and willingness to finish his/her studies, why deny them of a chance or an opportunity to ‘correct a wrong’ or have a second try at life? Do we, as adults, actually have a right to deny them of such?
If we intend for the youth, or everyone for that matter, to appreciate the value of responsibility, then as policy makers, we should be the first to embody such trait. Clearly, even with well-meaning policies such as this, when constructed poorly and irresponsibly, it loses its purpose and significance.