Education: oddly enough

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The Independent Culture
Soiled reputation: A former teacher in Compton, California who apparently soiled herself and then accused students of dumping human waste on her was fined $1,000 and given a year's probation for filing a false police report. Shannan Michelle Barron, 29, went on national talk shows last year to tell of how four students threw faeces and urine on her. Police Chief Hourie Taylor said investigators on the case could not verify her story. He said it appeared she had "a personal accident".

Cure for Viagra: A traditional drink that produces a mild high also suppresses the libido and is threatening the future population of some of Fiji's islands. Authorities are concerned that young men have become so addicted to drinking kava that they have lost their sex drive. Some schools have only five students in a class, and next year's intake is expected to be even smaller.

Big bullies: Tall children stand a greater than average chance of turning into classroom bullies and possibly even violent criminals, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles found that three-year-olds, whether boys or girls, who were just half an inch taller than their peers tended to be unusually aggressive by the time they reached 11 years.

Working mums: The founder of Coyote (Call Off Your Old, Tired Ethics), a San Francisco-based prostitutes' union, claims that hookers make better mothers because they work nights and can spend more quality time with their kids during the day. Margo St James says it can be pretty hairy when it is time to tell the kids what Mum does for a living, but she recommends prostitute parents be up-front with their kids. She adds that some daughters are so proud of their hooker mums that they become prostitutes when they are old enough.