Is it the Mill, Juniper Ridge, or...?
Posted in the Old Town Forum
#1 Feb 8, 2008
Story that didn't smell right grabs attention of U.S. media
By George Chappell
Friday, February 8, 2008 - Bangor Daily News
CAMDEN - A short article for a school newsletter written by two eighth-grade girls at Camden-Rockport Middle School about boys intentionally flatulating to disrupt classes created a national media sensation, according to Principal Maria Libby.
"The article on ‘intentional flatulence’ written in the informal FireCracker Newsletter last week moved from the classroom to the Village Soup [online newspaper] to national headlines with lightning speed," Libby said.
"It’s been all over the national news. It was on the Wall Street Journal’s online edition today," Libby said Wednesday.
"The article crashed Village Soup’s server and inspired a Philadelphia talk show host to contact me for an interview," she said, adding that she declined to give the interview.
The original newsletter article, published the week of Feb. 4, was erroneous, she said. "I learned about it the day after, on Thursday."
Libby said the headline, "Farting is banned from CRMS?" was wrong.
"We didn’t ban anything," she said.
The article, whose authors Libby said she could not identify because of school confidentiality policy, went as follows:
"Strange, but true, thanks to a bunch of eighth grade boys, intentional farting has been banned from CRMS.
"It started out as a funny joke and eventually turned into a game. This is the first rule at CRMS that prevents use of naturally bodily functions.
"The penalty for intentional farting is detention," the article concluded.
Libby said there is no such rule.
"Fortunately, most readers are having fun with our ‘new policy,’" she said. "I just want parents to know this is not an official ban or new school rule."
Some teachers told eighth-graders that if they continue to disrupt a class by intentional farting, they will get detention, Libby said.
"There is truth to that," she added. "Intentional flatulence can be a disruption to class, and we already have rules addressing disruptive behavior."
Patricia Hopkins, superintendent of Maine School Administrative District 28, of which the middle school is a part, reiterated Libby’s statement that no ban or administrative decision was involved in the episode.
"What a lesson in the instantaneous spread of news over the Internet and the power of the written word," Libby wrote on the school’s Web site. "Hopefully, it will also be a lesson in journalism, because much of the article was untrue."
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