Florida man accused of threatening to bomb animal shelter

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Florida man was arrested after he allegedly left multiple phone messages with a local animal shelter in Brooksville, threatening to blow them up. Peter Dalessandro, 52, surrendered himself to authorities around 11:00 p.m. (local time) on Wednesday.

Dalessandro has been charged with multiple counts of threatening to place or discharge an explosive device and multiple counts of assault. Dalessandro allegedly made six calls after a puppy the shelter had taken in was euthanized quickly. He called the shelter several times on April 20 and threatened to kill anyone who was there and stated that a bomb was on the property. A search of the property, however, revealed no bomb.

Allegedly, Dalessandro was angered about a recent incident involving euthanizing of an eight-month-old puppy at the shelter within fifteen minutes after the dog’s arrival. According to reports, it is the animal shelter’s policy to euthanize animals as soon as possible if there is no room to house them. However, The Miami Herald reports a shelter volunteer’s claim that there were at least ten kennels open at the time the dog was taken in. An investigation has been opened into the incident and is ongoing. Several employees of the shelter have been relieved of their duties until it has completed.

The director of the shelter called the euthanizing a mistake. Further reports reveal that Dalessandro allegedly called the shelter staff “scumbags” and told them, “I don’t know how you can make an error like that. I’m going to place a bomb and kill everybody.”

Dalessandro has reportedly made threats of a similar nature not related to this case. According to police, Dalessandro has a history of harshly reacting to news of animals dying or which have suffered abuse and has a rap sheet dating back to 2001. Some of the accusations against him include calling individuals who have been accused of killing animals and calling an attorney defending an individual accused of killing a dog.

Posted in Uncategorized

500 stranded melon-headed whales rescued in Philippine bay

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Philippine fishermen, volunteers and authorities with dozens of fishing boats have joined hands in guiding back to sea about 500 disorientated melon-headed whales that were stranded in the shallow waters near the mouth of Manila Bay delta in the Bataan Peninsula.

The gentle mammals were first spotted swimming back and forth and straying very dangerously close (about a mile or 1.6 kilometers) to the shores of the coastal towns of Pilar, Orion and Abucay 135 kilometers northwest of Manila at around at around 4:00 am on Tuesday, said Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commodore Luis Tuazon and Bataan Governor Enrique Garcia Jr.

The Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said its has responded to the reported mass “stranding” of whales off Pilar coastal waters in the province of Bataan where the famous and historic Corregidor Island is located.

Using dozens of fishing boats with machines shut down and bare hands, more than 100 village fishermen and volunteers along with BFAR, local police and Philippine Coast Guard personnel have joined the massive rescue. With great difficulty, the emergency team has waded into the chest-deep water, clapping their hands and hitting the surface to guide and drive the whales farther away from the coastal shore to deeper waters.

“The mammals were at first thought to have been dolphins, but experts then identified them as melon-headed whales,” local veterinarian Mariel Flores said. “This type of whale can be easily mistaken for dolphins because of their size and their teeth, which resemble those of dolphins. The mammals have ears that are sensitive to large changes in pressure underwater,” she added.

This type of [melon-headed] whale can be easily mistaken for dolphins because of their size and their teeth, which resemble those of dolphins. If their eardrums are damaged they become disorientated and they float up to the surface.

“It looked like they never wanted to leave. They looked sad,” said Rodolfo Joson, a village councilor. Joson and his son, Joey, a fisherman like him, have rushed home at about 4 a.m. to report the pod sighting. “It was still dark when we waded into the water. The whales were about 200 meters from the shore. The water was up to my neck. We first checked their conditions by playing with them. They did not repel us or leave. They were making hooting sounds,” Joson explained the mass beaching. “It seemed they were running away from waters that they didn’t like. Dolphins are happy and strong creatures. They raced with ships,” he added.

A post-mortem examination has revealed that four dead whales found beached farther up north in Abucay, Bataan, include two adult females, one of which was pregnant, while the other gave birth to a calf that also died, said Dr. Lemnuel Aragones of Ocean Adventure in Subic Freeport who did the necropsy at the Bataan fisheries office in Balanga City.

This is the first time that such large numbers of dolphins had been stranded in the Philippines. “We are trying to come up with a possible explanation to this unusual occurrence. It could be that the dolphins had lost their bearings and inadvertently ended up on the shallow portion of the coast unable to extricate themselves,” said Dr Lemuel Aragones, Associate Professor at the UP Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology.

Dr Aragones, who holds a PhD on Tropical Environmental Studies (Marine Ecology) from Australia’s James Cook University, explained that “the melon-headed whales of the dolphin family have sophisticated navigation systems that operate on a principle similar to sonar instruments used in submarines. Like humans, dolphins also follow a ‘leader’ of their pod. It is possible that the leader of this dolphin [pod] had somehow lost its way. In turn, the leader’s acoustic system, which serves as its guidance system, might have been impaired,” the marine expert elaborated.

Dr Aragones said “BFAR, UPIESM, and the Ocean Adventure Marine Park in Subic started the Philippine Marine Mammals Stranding Network (PMMSN) in 2005 as a response to cetacean strandings or beachings.” She cited the PMMSN training received by BFAR officers in Bataan during Tuesday’s mass beaching. She has asked the government to release funds for marine mammal studies.

The two adults had damaged eardrums, Alberto Venturina, the provincial veterinarian, said. “Dolphins with injured eardrums become disoriented, cannot dive for food and are too weak to swim and just flow with the current. If it’s a sick leader, the animal needs to be identified and taken out of sight of the rest of the pod so the healthy dolphins could be prodded back to sea,” he added.”The two animals were identified as melon-headed dolphins, weighing about 250 to 300 kilograms (550 to 660 pounds),” explained Venturina, adding “the third dolphin was only a month old and measured barely a meter long. Its gender had not yet been determined.”

According to Nelson Bien, head of the Fisheries Resource and Management Division of BFAR Region III, a necropsy by BFAR, the provincial veterinarian, and veterinarians from the Ocean Adventure in Subic Freeport has traced the cause of their death to drowning.

The marine doctors have determined that the marine mammals might have drowned after failing to extricate themselves from the fishing nets or “baklad,” explained Dr. Mundita Lim, director of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). “There were no injuries to their ears, like visible lesions, but the possibility of an acoustic problem or trauma is still there,” Dr Lim explained, saying, “more tests, like analysis of tissue samples and MRI tests will have to be done to see if there were other injuries to the animals not visible externally.”

They are sending tissue samples to the University of Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna for analysis. “If it was something like climate change, then it would be a bigger environmental problem,” Lim added.

A fourth and pregnant one was also found dead in the village of Tortugas in the town of Balanga, Bataan, said Bien, saying they were investigating the incident and would conduct a “water quality and water parameter test” to determine why the dolphins beached to shallow waters. The condition of melon-headed whale found at Talisay River and taken to Ocean Adventure in Subic Freeport has improved amid forced feeding and treatment of its 2 wounds, said Nilo Ramoso, Biologist III, Pawikan Conservation Project.

Dr. Westly Rosario, BFAR Center chief in Dagupan City, has reported that BFAR personnel were also investigating a “problem in the water, probably chemical pollution,” to explain why the dolphins beached and sought shelter in the shallow waters. The dolphins have faced the same direction and their blowholes above water, they seemed to be avoiding something. “The dolphins were behaving in the same way, they have the same action. People were trying to drive them back into the sea but they refused. There could be chemical pollution somewhere which they were avoiding,” Rosario explained.

Dolphins’ disorientation is sometimes caused by the changes in earth’s magnetic field “that cause the dolphins’ navigational mechanisms to go haywire,” Dr. Edgardo Gomez, professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute, said, adding that “it could also be chemicals in the water that affected the dolphins, although this should be proven by water tests.” Philippine marine biologist Rizza Salinas said a possible cause for the stranding of large pods of distressed whales is that there could have been illegal dynamite fishing in the area.

“This is very strange. What is also unusual is they appeared disoriented. I am on my way to Bataan on board BFAR’s patrol vessel. We will look into the situation. Our patrol boats are also on their way to the area. We are also getting experts on stranding,” said BFAR director Malcolm Sarmiento Jr. Sarmiento, explaining that the highest number of stranded dolphins recorded by the BFAR was only 20 to 30. “It’s something unusual. It’s the first time that such a large pod has entered Manila Bay, and is acting strangely,” Sarmiento added.

“Most strandings are caused by seaquakes, heat wave or disturbances at sea. Such disturbances affect the pressure underwater, which subsequently affects the dolphins’ eardrums and sense of balance, leading to their “disorientation.” The creatures then will avoid diving in deeper parts of the ocean and will swim to shallow areas. They came from the north and were headed towards the South China Sea,” Sarmiento explained, adding that the unusual occurrence may have also been caused when the pod could have been following a sick or injured leader.

Sarmiento has appealed to the public not to inflict harm on the dolphins, which are considered threatened species. “Please do not harm the dolphins because they are already endangered. The authorities should also prevent the people who want to inflict harm on the creatures. They should be arrested, if needed.” Melon-head dolphins are considered threatened species — meaning they are likely to become endangered in the future.

“At around 12 noon, the dolphins were finally guided to the open seas, but residents in Hermosa near Mariveles were surprised to see the dolphins near their shoreline, but around 4:30 pm, all the dolphins have left the shoreline and swam towards into deeper waters,” said Governor Garcia.

“The dolphins swam parallel back to Abucay, Hermosa, and Manila Bay before they were eventually herded farther offshore. There are theories that this phenomenon was a result of the Monday night lunar eclipse. The Fisheries Bureau will know after their tests,” Garcia added.

Having suspected the dolphins’ habitat must have been disrupted, forcing them to flee and seek refuge in shallow waters, Senate of the Philippines Majority Leader, Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday asked experts to probe the cause of the sudden appearance of more than 300 electra dolphins near the shores of Pilar town in Bataan province Tuesday morning.

Senator Zubiri wanted the experts to examine the possibility that an earthquake study, involving an undersea experiment using blasting in the South China Sea by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DEO) – a collaborator of Columbia University – caused the abnormal behavior of the small whales.

Citing an International Union for Conservation of Nature research concluding that the melon-headed whales may have been distracted by the South China Sea study, forcing the dolphins to wander in the shallow waters, Senator Zubiri said that “the earthquake study is a sea floor investigation project in the exclusive economic zone that includes Taiwan, China, Japan and the Philippines for its earthquake research. On top of saving stranded dolphins, we should find the cause for the tragedy in order to avoid them in the future and to be prepared when it occurs again,” he explained.

But according to Erlinton Olavare, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) science research specialist, “no significant event was recorded by their stations in Bolinao, Sta. Cruz and Lubag, near Pilar at the time the dolphins were stranded Tuesday.”

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose L. Atienza, Jr. said Bataan Gov. Enrique “Tet” Garcia on Wednesday confirmed there was dynamite fishing in his province. “I asked him [Garcia] and he confirmed it. He also said he was battling this illegal activity,” said Atienza. “The causes of the acoustic trauma could have been sound waves caused by dynamite fishing or sounds emitted by passing ships or seaquakes,” Gov. Garcia said.

“Dolphins are a ‘cohesive’ group and that they follow where their leader takes them. If the leader of the dolphins was sick, then the animal could have committed a “navigational error” and led the rest of the group to shore,” said the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS).

“The pod of melon-headed whales (dolphins) on Manila Bay were injured by a rather nasty group of more than 120 undersea earthquakes. The swarm started with a small magnitude-4.5 event on December 21, 2008. Things got red-hot on January 3, 2009 when a magnitude-7.6 event erupted near the water’s edge on Papua Island in Indonesia, 700 miles southeast of Davao City in Mindanao. The 7.6 magnitude quake was followed by more than 120 major aftershocks each one capable by itself of inflicting injury on a pod of dolphins,” said Capt. David Williams, a retired marine mammal researcher, a commercial sea captain for 40 years and active whale conservationist.

Capt. Williams explained that whales and dolphins have small air sacs (pterygoid sinuses) that surround each inner ear and help then sense sound direction underwater. A damaged pterygoid air sac results in the loosing of echonavigation and echolocation. “In summary, my Seaquake Theory indicates that barotrauma, as a result of exposure to potent earthquake-induced changes in ambient pressure, solves the centuries-old mystery of why whales and dolphins mass-strand on beaches around the world,” Capt. Williams concluded.

An explosive blast and explosive decompression create a pressure wave that can induce barotrauma. The difference in pressure between internal organs and the outer surface of the body causes injuries to internal organs that contain gas, such as the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and ear.

According to the Natural History Museum experts, whale and dolphins can become confused, mis-read the Earth’s magnetic fields, fear certain sounds and get lost. Since 1913, it has investigated all strandings, more than 11,000 so far, and it runs the UK Whale and Dolphin Stranding Scheme.

New Zealand‘s Project Jonah has claimed that the largest recorded beach stranding was in 1918 when 1,000 pilot whales were stranded on New Zealand’s Chatham Islands.

The last mass beaching in the Philippines was in 1956 when around 12 sperm whales were stranded in a coastal area in Capiz, amid at least 10 yearly strandings that happened in the country involving only one or two animals that were either sick or dying.

Last January this year, Filipino fishermen have also rescued an endangered sea cow. The fishermen aided the beached sea cow to the deep sea, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

The Melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra; many-toothed blackfish and electra dolphin) is a cetacean of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). As small members of the dolphingroup, it is closely related to the Pygmy Killer Whale and Pilot Whale, and collectively these dolphin species are known by the common name blackfish.

The tender mammal can grow up to 2.7 meters (9 feet) and weigh as much as 210 kilograms (460pounds). With black triangular “mask” on its face, it appears dark gray to black in color, has no discernible beak and its head is shaped like a rounded melon, thus the name. Its primary diet is squid and fish. The Melon-headed whale lives well off-shore in all the world’s tropical and sub-tropical oceans.

At the northern fringes of its range it may also be found in the warm currents of temperate waters. Ordinarily, however, it is found beyond the continental shelf between 20° S and 20° N. The Melon-headed whale is widespread throughout the world’s tropical waters, although not often seen by humans on account of its preference for deep water. It has been found in Ireland, Hawaii and Cebu, in the Philippines.

As social species, they are covered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 in the United States. In July 2004, between 150 and 200 melon-headed whales occupied the shallow waters of Kauai island in Hawaii for over 28 hours, after which, they were rescued and guided to deeper water. This incident may have been related to nearby United States Navy sonar exercise.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which includes the melon-headed whales in its Red List of threatened species said that the number of whales involved in mass stranding had increased in the last 30 years.

“The melon-headed whales are likely to be “vulnerable” to loud sounds, such as those generated by navy sonar and seismic exploration. Evidence from stranded whales also has indicated that they may have died after swallowing plastic items. It has been predicted that the whales will be affected by global climate change, but the impact is still unclear,” the IUCN explained.

Posted in Uncategorized

2006 U.S. Congressional Elections

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Contents

  • 1 Issues
  • 2 Campaigns turn nasty
  • 3 Polling Problems
  • 4 Summaries by state
  • 5 Alabama
  • 6 Alaska
  • 7 Arizona
  • 8 Arkansas
  • 9 California
  • 10 Colorado
  • 11 Connecticut
  • 12 Delaware
  • 13 Florida
  • 14 Georgia
  • 15 Hawaii
  • 16 Idaho
  • 17 Illinois
  • 18 Indiana
  • 19 Iowa
  • 20 Kansas
  • 21 Kentucky
  • 22 Louisiana
  • 23 Maine
  • 24 Maryland
  • 25 Massachusetts
  • 26 Michigan
  • 27 Minnesota
  • 28 Mississippi
  • 29 Missouri
  • 30 Montana
  • 31 Nebraska
  • 32 Nevada
  • 33 New Hampshire
  • 34 New Jersey
  • 35 New Mexico
  • 36 New York
  • 37 North Carolina
  • 38 North Dakota
  • 39 Ohio
  • 40 Oklahoma
  • 41 Oregon
  • 42 Pennsylvania
  • 43 Rhode Island
  • 44 South Carolina
  • 45 South Dakota
  • 46 Tennessee
  • 47 Texas
  • 48 Utah
  • 49 Vermont
  • 50 Virginia
  • 51 Washington
  • 52 West Virginia
  • 53 Wisconsin
  • 54 Wyoming
  • 55 American Samoa
  • 56 District of Columbia
  • 57 Guam
  • 58 Virgin Islands
  • 59 Sources

As of 10:00 p.m EST November 8, 2006, the Democratic Party is projected to have gained control of both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in the 2006 United States general elections. MSNBC projects that the Democrats now control 234 seats in the House of Representatives, 16 more seats than the 218 needed to control the House of Representatives as all 435 seats were up for election. In the Senate, where the balance of power is closer, one-third of all seats were up for grab. As of 10:00 p.m. EST, AP and Reuters were projecting that the Democrats had picked up all six seats they needed to retake the Senate, including the seats of incumbents Rick Santorum (Penn.), Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), Jim Talent (Missouri), Mike DeWine (Ohio), John Tester (Montana), and Jim Webb (VA). The Tester victory by less than 3,000 votes was projected at approximately 2 p.m. EST after the State of Montana announced the results of overnight recounts. Democrat Jim Webb has prevailed in that race by slightly more than 7,000 votes, though his opponent has not conceded and a recount may still occur.

Posted in Uncategorized

Canadian foreign affairs minister resigns amid controversy

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Maxime Bernier, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, resigned after it was revealed that he left classified materials at an insecure location. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Bernier’s resignation in Ottawa on Monday.

Bernier was once in a relationship with Julie Couillard, whose previous associations with the controversial Hells Angels biker group were reported in recent months. In an interview with French-language television network TVA, Couillard indicated that Bernier left behind some designated secret documents at her residence. She returned these to the federal government upon advice from a lawyer.

Opposition politicians were critical of Harper and his handling of the matter, noting that until today the Prime Minister downplayed security concerns surrounding Bernier’s relationship with Couillard. Negative reaction to Bernier’s resignation quickly came from Liberal party house leader Ralph Goodale and NDP leader Jack Layton.

Bernier has a track record of controversy as a member of the Harper government. Last week, he hastily promised Canadian military aircraft for relief efforts in cyclone-ravaged Burma, although the aircraft in question were already occupied elsewhere. The Canadian government was forced to rent a Russian aircraft to fulfill Bernier’s promise. Bernier also received criticism earlier this year after he made public comments calling for the removal of an Afghanistan governor from office.

David Emerson will assume Bernier’s Foreign Affairs duties, at least for the short term.

Posted in Uncategorized

Denunciations of Scandals Threaten UN

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Denunciations of corruption, bribe, collection of bribes from refugees [1] and of sexual scandal involving the peacekeepers [2], [3] threaten the Organization of the United Nations (UN).

The gravest denunciations involve the aid project to Iraq, called Oil-for-Food. Grave denunciations of bribe exist, superfluous accounting and collaboration with the ex-dictator Saddam Hussein, against staff of the UN, companies and politicians of several countries. Even the secretary of the UN, Kofi Annan was suspicious of participation in the plan of corruption. And also grave doubts still hover about his son, Kojo Annan.

The gravity of the denunciations threatens not only the credibility of the UN, but its existence.

Secretary Kofi Annan said that he is going to promote reforms in the organization. [4]

Contents

  • 1 The Oil-for-Food Program
  • 2 Reclamações
  • 3 Al-Mada
  • 4 Funcionanento do esquema de corrupção
  • 5 As investigações
    • 5.1 Investigation of Charles Duelfer for the Central Intelligence Agency
      • 5.1.1 Text of the Report by Charles Duelfer
    • 5.2 GAO Investigation
    • 5.3 As investigações do conselho de governo iraquiano
    • 5.4 Investigação das Nações Unidas
  • 6 Last reports so far
  • 7 See also
  • 8 Sources
Posted in Uncategorized

New edition of Canada’s Food Guide released

Thursday, February 8, 2007

A new version of Canada’s Food Guide was announced by Canadian Health Minister Tony Clement on Feb. 5, 2007. The guide has helped Canadians with healthy eating habits since 1942 but was last updated in 1992. It is the Canadian government’s most-requested publication after income tax forms.

Changes to the Food Guide include:

  • a first-time recommendation to include a small amount of unsaturated fat in regular diets;
  • physical activity to complement healthy eating;
  • advice for some people to take vitamin supplements;
  • an advisory to limit foods with excess salt, sugar, fat and calories, which is considered an unprecedented caution regarding junk food.
Examples of the Food Guide’s four groups (clockwise from top left): vegetables and fruit, grain products, meat and its alternatives, milk and its alternatives
Posted in Uncategorized

Teachers at Australian school shocked at no warning over redundancies, can apply before ‘externals’

This article’s primary contributor, Patrick Gillett, is an alumnus of Sunshine Coast Grammar School.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A deal between Sunshine Coast Grammar School headmaster Nigel Fairbairn and the Independent Education Union of Australia has ended a week of uncertainty for 22 of the Queensland, Australia school’s staff.

Last week Wikinews obtained a list of 22 middle management teaching staff allegedly made redundant, or laid off due to restructuring. The restructuring is, apparently, designed to get teachers back into the classroom.

During the week, staff, students, alumni and parents had accused the headmaster of being dishonest and not “tak[ing] a single question” on the issue.

“At 10am there were 21 teachers with big question marks over their employment but by 1pm they had the assurance they would be able to apply for new positions before external applicants,” union secretary Terry Burke said. “Mr Fairbairn said it was clearly the school’s preference to continue the employment of existing staff. It is our view the existing staff are more than capable of taking on the new positions.”

Sunshine Coast Grammar is a private Christian school approximately 95 km (60 miles) north of the state capital, Brisbane.

Teachers at Sunshine Coast Grammar school have told the Sunshine Coast Daily that they received no warning of any pending redundancies. Independent Education Union of Australia representative and school careers counselor Maria Campanini said “teacher morale is very low and people are very disappointed and disillusioned”.

Ms Campanini said that staff were saddened by the handling of the situation by headmaster Nigel Fairbairn. “We got an email announcing a meeting and I thought it would just provide some feedback about the review,” Ms Campanini said. “But the 21 teachers whose jobs were directly affected were herded into a room, Mr Fairbairn read out a prepared statement, turned on his heel and left. He didn’t take a single question. We were just left sitting there in shock.”

An anonymous staff member told the Sunshine Coast Daily that, “Some teachers, who rely on the income and whose positions were abolished, were very distraught and they had to go to class. It appears we’re not valued in the school community, not to be even asked our opinion as to what might be the best outcome, to try and make it work.”

According to Ms Campanini, one of the teachers being made redundant is 30 weeks pregnant with another returning to work after maternity leave. “It’s really stressful for all the people involved,” Ms Campanini said. “People can understand the need for restructure when it’s explained, but we’re none the wiser.”

“When it all happened on Friday, it was morning tea time and a lot of us had to go back in the classroom and teach all afternoon,” the anonymous staff member said.

Parents have accused Fairbairn of constantly changing his version of events, with one telling the Sunshine Coast Daily that, “The school board does not have independent parents on the board, which makes no sense at all. From what I have gathered, Mr Fairbairn is not interested in having parents involved in the decision-making processes.”

Mr Fairbairn is trying to go into damage control and his story keeps changing. He’s told parents this restructure was not financially motivated but has told teachers the complete opposite thing. This is it. The gloves are off.

“Mr Fairbairn is trying to go into damage control and his story keeps changing,” said Julie Hopkins, another Grammar parent. “He’s told parents this restructure was not financially motivated but has told teachers the complete opposite thing. This is it. The gloves are off.”

Wikinews obtained a list of middle management staff allegedly made redundant, or laid off due to restructuring, by the Queensland, Australia school. Sources say that those staff have been told that they can apply for new positions that have opened up.

The list, published on the SCGS alumni Facebook page, contains the names of twenty-two staff members. Seventeen positions are reportedly being opened up, eight of which seem to significantly overlap the old ones.

Mr. Fairbairn “replaced the open and welcoming culture … with the tyrannical and oppressive one.”

The changes are, apparently, designed to get teachers back into the classroom. “We are not cutting subject choices and extracurricular activities, but retaining a student-driven curriculum that integrates with the new Australian Curriculum, in keeping with our commitment to teaching and learning opportunities,” said headmaster Nigel Fairbairn.

Wikinews understands that Fairbairn attracted criticism when he was a head teacher in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a former student claimed that Fairbairn “replaced the open and welcoming culture … with the tyrannical and oppressive one.” Fairbairn refused to comment on the criticism.

People are angry and shocked. I am aware of at least 10 families who have said they will pull their children out of the school – it’s that bad.

Fairbairn’s statement came under attack from 2009 graduates who, in a open letter posted on Facebook, said, “It is also hugely hypocritical to attack these teachers for not spending enough time in the classroom, when from firsthand experience the only time Mr. Nigel Fairbairn was ever sighted was during assembly (which he mysteriously stopped attending), never mind in the classroom, therefore, it is honestly astounding that he could make such unjust and incorrect statements.”

They also expressed embarrassment “to be associated with the name ‘Sunshine Coast Grammar School’ while you are at the head of the great community which Grammar once was.”

Four of the affected teachers “were the backbone of the school when [controversy surrounded founding headmaster John Burgess] happened,” a former prefect (student leader) said. “They got it through that crisis and this is the thanks they get.”

“People are angry and shocked,” they continued. “I am aware of at least 10 families who have said they will pull their children out of the school – it’s that bad.”

The student body has not ruled out protesting the schools plans. “It’s getting to that stage,” the former prefect said. “People are trying to look at it in an intelligent way but there is so much anger out there.”

Posted in Uncategorized