Cannonball On Manatee
Two men pleaded guilty in Federal court in Orlando for diving onto a manatee and her calf. 22-year-olds Seth Andrew Stephenson and Taylor Blake Martin, who posted a video of their cannonball, could face one year in prison and a $50,000 fine. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are hoping to address the illegal harassment of manatees as well as other activities that might result in the death or injury of Florida’s endangered manatees. (Florida Today)
Fraternity Ends Hazing for All Chapters Across the Country
Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the nation’s largest and oldest fraternities, has ended hazing for all of its chapters across the country effective immediately after a string of hazing-related deaths among its pledges in recent years. Although hazing often involves silly and harmless stunts, it has at times included beatings and other physical abuse as well as forcing recruits to drink large amounts of alcohol. Sigma Alpha Epsilon says new members now will get a four-day crash course on safety and the history of the fraternity, pay their dues and not face any sort of probationary period. It also warns that any chapters that ignore the news rules and continue hazing will be closed.
Parents Upset That ‘Carrie’ Chosen for High School Musical
Putting on a student musical is a high school tradition, but some parents in Farmington Hills, Michigan, are upset that their kids’ school has chosen to do Carrie: The Musical this spring, saying the show based on the classic 1970s horror film about a girl who uses her telekinetic powers to take bloody revenge on classmates who bullied her is inappropriate. The Detroit Free Press cited Farmington North High School parent Julie Devine as saying at a recent meeting of the district’s board of education, “When I heard [it] was a musical version of Carrie, I was dumbstruck. I thought, ‘How arrogant, how insensitive and how reckless to put on a show that ends with a mass murder in a high school gym.'” She also said that the portrayal of Carrie’s mother as a, quote, “Christian nut job bent on destruction” conflicts with the schools’ support of diversity. Another parent, Karie Acker, said, “The play is so wrong on so many levels,” and that it’s exposing young people to more, quote, “garbage.” But school administrators are defending the production, with Principal Joe Greene saying in a statement, “The musical Carrie provides us a fantastical lens through which to examine and spur thought about the origin and impact of bullying, the impact of mental illness, and the choices we make about how we treat each other.”