Thanks to chum Canada Dry Mike for the following tip, from Village Soup, one of our local newspapers (I would link but annoyingly VS is one of those deluded media companies that believes that people are willing to pay to read archived stories)
Middle school issues 'ban' on intentional flatulence
CAMDEN, ME (Feb 4, 08): The Merriam Webster Dictionary definition for flatulence is brief: "flatus expelled through the anus." And while it's a natural bodily function, it seems some Camden-Rockport Middle School eighth-grade boys are taking it to new heights and allegedly making a game of seeing who can expel the loudest and grossest flatus.
According to this week's "Fire Cracker" newsletter though, an informal eighth-grade publication, the joke's on the boys as the penalty for "intentional farting" is now a detention.
"Strange, but true, thanks to a bunch of 8th grade boys, intentional farting has been banned from CRMS," the newsletter said. "It started out as a funny joke and eventually turned into a game. This is the first rule at CRMS that prevents the use of natural bodily functions. The penalty for intentional farting is a detention, so keep it to yourself!"
CRMS Principal Maria Libby said Tuesday that part of what the students wrote isn't true, and though she acknowledged that there is a punishment for "disruptive behavior," she said there is no new official policy regarding intentionally expelling flatus.
"A ban on intentional farting is not true and I'm not sure if it started as a game or not," said Libby. "It is also not true that this is the first rule at CRMS that prevents the use of natural bodily functions, as was stated in the newsletter, and a detention is only warranted if the behavior is deemed a disruption."
Libby added, "It's not a new policy, but farting can be considered a disruption."
According to a group of seventh-grade students milling around downtown following Friday's storm-related early release, the eighth-graders' escapades are well known in the school.
"They would do it in science class and other places," said Jordan Tyler. "It's a natural occurrence, and we all do it 16 times a day."
When questioned where he learned that information, Tyler and the other students all said it was true, though they couldn't remember where they heard it.
One of the other students, Kyle Ruger, said the act by the boys was funny, but he had mixed feelings about whether it was appropriate.
Jordan Knowlton minced no words when she expressed how she felt, saying, "It's gross."
Remy LeVine said he was in the class when CRMS science teacher Brad LaRoche talked to all the eighth-grade boys about the issue, as well as the consequences.
School Superintendent Patricia Hopkins said she had not heard anything about the issue or the alleged suspected result until contacted by the media, though she did get a good chuckle out of the news.