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School Newsletter Had Penthouse As Recommended Reading

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Australian school at center of child-sex allegations pulls newsletter mentioning 'Penthouse' as recommended reading.

The school at the center of child-sex allegations, St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia has removed a newsletter recommending Penthouse magazine as recommended reading for teenage boys. On the schools website, the newsletter has been replaced by a copy which omits these comments.

In the same newsletter, principal of the college John Edwards informs the school community that The Daily Telegraph had contacted him regarding sex abuse allegations.

The controversial comments were made by Ian MacDougall, a HSIE teacher. When asked what book he recommends every teenage boy read, he responded "Besides 'PeCENSOREDse' - any book that stirs the imagination/concious".

A parent who does not wish to be named told Wikinews she took the comment to mean Penthouse magazine. She said the newsletter was given to her sons on Friday and when she read it she raised concerns with the school. The newsletter was changed on the school's website after concerns were raised. The parent said she was considering enrolling her sons at a public school following the incident. "It makes you wonder how much truth there is to the allegations when you have a teacher recommending students read an adult magazine," said the concerned parent.

The schools principal John Edwards told Wikinews that the newsletter was changed after Mr. MacDougall's answer was "widely interpreted to mean a girl magazine". Mr Edwards said he deemed the original comments "unacceptable".

When questioned by Wikinews on whether or not the article was recommending Penthouse, he said that the question was completed before the staff member went on long-service leave. The principal said the original version of the questions listed 'peCENSORED' and later had 'se' added to the end as "humour". He said after feedback from the comments, the version was replaced on the schools website.

By WIKINEWS
* Gemma Jones "School 'urges students to read Penthouse'". The Daily Telegraph, August 28, 2008
* "http://schools.xenware.net/stannies/1809/220808_newsletter.pdf". St Stanislaus College (linked from stannies.com.au), August 26, 2008 (according to metadata)
* "Original version of the school newsletter". St Stanislaus College (via xenware.net), August 22, 2008

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