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Is farting on the school bus suspension-worthy?

Think back to your elementary school days, and you may recall how hilariously taboo it was when someone burped or passed gas loudly.

School authorities in Ohio, however, apparently felt two Grade 7 students took things too far, and temporarily revoked their school-bus privileges for breaking wind during a ride.

According to Gawker, the two boys had been given a previous warning by the bus driver after "a similar display of synchronized farting" weeks earlier. Due to the laughter, jeering and overall ruckus that ensued from their latest fit of flatulence, the bus driver reported the incident to their principal, who handed the boys a one-day bus suspension.

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James Nichols, father of one of the students, told The Columbus Dispatch he was stunned that the principal deemed his 13-year-old son's behaviour obscene.

"He suggested my son should hold his gas on this hour-long bus ride, if in fact he has gas," Mr. Nichols told the newspaper. "When it happens, it just happens. It's not intentional."

Mr. Nichols' wife Kristine Kuzora said she was particularly upset, due to her own digestive health problems.

"As a sufferer of gastrointestinal issues who was recently hospitalized for these issues, I take great offence to passing gas being cause for suspension and marked as an obscene gesture," The Dispatch quoted her as saying.

It's easy, of course, to dismiss this all as juvenile potty humour. But earlier this year, senior judicial officials in Malawi seriously debated a bill to outlaw breaking wind in public.

Justice Minister George Chaponda told reporters the measure would criminalize flatulence to promote "public decency," t he BBC reported.

"Just go to the toilet when you feel like farting," he said, explaining the ban would be similar to prohibiting urinating in public.

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Enforcement, however, may be tough, if not impossible.

Is it uncontrollable or unacceptable? Where do you stand on letting one go in public?

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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