Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rabbit Terrorism: You Can't Make This Up, Folks

"Court rejects teacher's suit against student for 'rabbit terrorism' "
The Local, Germany's News in English (July 10, 2010)

"A German court on Tuesday threw out the case of a schoolteacher against a pupil who allegedly tormented her by scrawling pictures of rabbits on the blackboard to aggravate her rabbit phobia.

"The court in Vechta, northern Germany declined to hear the complaint by the 60-year-old geography teacher, who was seeking an injunction against the 16-year-old girl to stop her from making the drawings or spreading rumours that the plaintiff had a paralysing fear of rabbits....

So, naturally, the teacher takes the teen to court. Because rabbits don't bother her at all. And nobody is supposed to say that they do.

Back to the article:

"...Chief Judge Hermann Pieper did not give a reason for the ruling, but said the case was business as usual. The teacher, who did not appear in court, has the option to appeal...."

"...Two years ago at another school, the teacher took a pupil to court in a similar case and reached a settlement in which the teenager agreed never again to claim that the plaintiff 'freaked out' when she saw a rabbit or heard the word...."

The alleged rabbit terrorist had been at the school where this teacher was absolutely not bothered by rabbits at all, when the previous rabbit incident occurred. So maybe the teen plotted to make witnesses see the teacher break down, sobbing, when she wasn't at all bothered by a picture of a rabbit.

If this sounds crazy, you probably don't live in Germany. Apparently this sort of thing isn't all that unusual in that country:

"...Judge Pieper said that while the case may seem curious to outsiders, 'mobbing and strife in the schools' were frequently brought before the court."

I don't know what to think of that teacher. If she's really terrified of rabbits, the word rabbit, or a picture of a bunny rabbit on a blackboard: a school full of teenagers is among the last places she should be. For her sake, and that of the teens.

If she's not, and just likes to yank someone's chain: she missed a great opportunity. By watching a copy of Night of the Lepus (1972, MGM), she could have gone to court and sued MGM for everything they've got.

On consideration, though: that would probably mean traveling to America - and I'm not sure that the courts here are quite as eager to jump on those 'emotional pain and trauma' cases any more.
A tip of the hat to irish_brigid, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this article.

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