HS Friday Bulletin November 9

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS FRIDAY BULLETIN NOV 9


Dear Parents and Guardians,

I’d like to start this week’s bulletin by sharing with you the email that Mr. Toze wrote to all High School parents, regarding underage alcohol consumption at parties that some of our High School students attend.

Dear Parents,

As we approach the holiday season, I do want to broach what some may see as an unseasonable topic: the inherent dangers in alcohol consumption by teenagers. We know that the legal age for buying and drinking alcohol in the Philippines is 18, but we also know that, because of lax policing and the easy availability of fake IDs, in reality more or less anyone with money can buy alcohol – whatever their age.

Not infrequently, I hear stories of parties at which students drink to the point of intoxication and require emergency medical assistance. This isn’t a problem that besets just Manila, or the Philippines; it is a problem in many parts of the world. Every year, there are media reports of deaths of young people caused either directly by binge drinking or indirectly through accidents or violence provoked by drunkenness. Below are just three examples from Canada, the UK and the USA:

My fear is that, one day, I shall be the school head who is called upon to make a statement in such circumstances.

Like you, I know the pressure that sons and daughters place upon their parents, and how easy it is to be “guilted” or coerced into saying “Yes” when we know that the right answer is “No”. I do want to be clear, though, that if we allow our children uninhibited access to alcohol – and especially to hard liquor – then we are putting their safety at risk.

Moreover, if we as parents sponsor parties or events where we enable or encourage children under the age of 18 to consume alcohol, then we are not just assuming a moral responsibility for what may happen because of their drinking; we are assuming a civil and criminal liability as well.

We at school understand that we have a role to play in all this. We have an extensive Wellness program where we explore the impact of alcohol on the body; we invite in expert speakers to talk about substance abuse; our counselors work with individuals who may be experiencing problems with alcohol. But what we cannot do is say to a student: “No, you aren’t allowed to go to this party on Saturday night because you’re only fifteen years old, and I know they will be serving drink there”. That decision lies within the province of a parent.

I do urge you to think carefully about the issues I have raised here and, over the course of the next few days, to have a serious conversation with your sons and daughters about alcohol consumption.


David Toze
International School Manila

Mr. Toze’s email is not only a preemptive one as we prepare for the run-up to Christmas and then Christmas break with all the festivities that go along with it, but also a reaction to a couple of parties this semester where underage high school students have been provided with alcohol by the host parents. I’d like to share with you here 3 simple questions that can be asked of the host parent in advance of these situations.

1. Are you aware of the party that is being planned at your house this weekend?
• Establish here that the party is being planned with the consent of the host parents.
2. Will you and/or your wife/husband be there to supervise the kids?
• Depending on the answer, you may wish to dig further.
3. Will alcohol be available?
• By available, I mean provided by the host/venue or brought by party-goers

If the answers to any of these questions, make you uncomfortable then, as Mr. Toze suggests in his missive, you should not be “guilted” or coerced into saying “Yes” when we know that the right answer is “No”. I realize that this is sometimes easier said than done when “everybody will be going” is the retort from your child, but, as I am starting to realize too, raising teenagers in the right way is not always easy. Good luck.

And now to other things:
Thanks for the parents who took the time to attend this month’s Parent Coffee last Tuesday. We started the morning with a demonstration of intellectual capacity with Ursula and Regina presenting again their ToK presentations as a sample of this year’s excellent batch. They were confident and articulate, the presentation was well paced and their use of intonation was engaging. As I said at the end, if you were ever in doubt as to whether your child is ready for the next stage of their education after ISM, just come along and watch their ToK presentation – it will put your mind at rest. Well done you two. Following of from Ursula and Regina, Mr. Woods, Ms. Alvarez, Ms. Govier and a selection of students from the sustainability counsel presented to parents on the planning that goes behind events like ICARE so that it isn’t just an outing, but that the learning is deliberate and pre-meditated. Well done particularly to Abhinav, who took the microphone and spoke with the confidence and knowledge of a TED-talker. Good stuff!

Today, International School Manila hosted our largest ever RoboRumble Tournament in the Little Theatre. Teams from three other countries joined this year, and we’ve been officially designated as the Philippines National Championship for VEX Robotics. Ten of our top HS teams competed in the event known as Turning Point. MS kids competed in the Next Level event. Saturday morning will be the final elimination rounds beginning at 9 am. Please come check it out! If you have any questions about the event, please contact Grade 11 student, Jason Cruz. cruzg@ismanila.org. He is the student RoboRumble Director and highly skilled at fielding robo-queries. Thanks to Mr. Dingrando, Mr. Philips, Mr. Venhuis and Mr. Hatfield for helping to judge and organize this year’s competition.

Sports fans: This coming Saturday will be busy, busy, busy here on campus….
Sailfish Fall swim meet at ISM from 8am and continuing all day
Local Basketball league begins for Varsity teams at ISM. VBoys vs Letran 11am/VGirls vs UMAK 12:30pm
Local tennis competition begins at ISM roof top courts for MS tennis league
Local touch round #1 of league competition begins at ISM MS field for Varsity teams from 8am all day.
At away venues- HS Tennis teams at CSA/Wall Climbing team at ROX store BGC/Chess team at LSGH/Table Tennis team at Xavier
Next weekend we host the Rugby exchange with 4 of the IASAS schools arriving Friday Nov 16 to play games after school and all day Saturday Nov 17. For Faculty Rugby fans the schedule of rugby matches will be sent out in next week’s sports update.
Friday Nov 23 is Friday night lights #2 with Rugby games, Touch vs Brent/Faith and Basketball vs Brent.
Sat Nov 24 Sailfish Aquathon contact Coach Holly if you would like to enter as faculty entries are encouraged to join in the fun/fitness!

Looking forward to next week (and beyond). We are approaching concert season with the All Choirs, All Bands and All Strings coming soon:

All Choirs – Tuesday, November 13th at 5:30 in the FAT
All Bands – Monday, November 19th at 5:30 in the FAT
All Strings – Wednesday, November 21st at 5:30 in the FAT
Please come along and support the students and, at the same time, enjoy some wonderful musical performances.

Next Thursday, November 15th, we have an Evening of Particle Physics as Sana and Sae Joon report on their trip to CERN, Geneva last month – please come and join us as they explain their proposal that won this prestigious competition together with their experience, tests and results from the experiment that they carried out while in Switzerland.

At the end of next week will be an IASAS exchange weekend plus IASAS MUN.
IASAS MUN @ ISM (Thursday to Saturday)
Basketball @ TAS
Rugby @ ISM (Saturday)
Touch @ SAS
Swimming @ ISB
Tennis (boys) @ ISKL
Tennis (girls) @ JIS

Wishing you a restful weekend.

Mike Dickinson
HS Principal