August 24, 2012

Ombudsman investigates children forced to sail to get an education

Filed under: Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:56 am

We reported several times about Laura Dekker, the sailor girl who was allowed to circumnavigate the globe for a year, and more recently we told you about two teenage brothers, Enrique and Hugo who are being denied an education because of their special needs as dyslexics and decided to sail off to get one the same way Dekker did.

The national ombudsman finally got wind of the situation and wants to find out why these kids can’t or don’t attend classes, as there are thousands of them. The brothers set sail today although Child Protection Services recently took their parents to court, but the court is delaying their verdict until December. I bet they are doing this because they know the parents aren’t at fault, and with general elections coming up on September 12, a lot could change in the meantime.

Child Protection Services can’t prosecute the parents for not trying to put their children in a school, as all schools within a large radius have refused the brothers. I don’t understand why the government doesn’t force a school to take them or at least try and resolve this situation. This imbroglio is far from over, and it is quite embarrassing.

Since Dekker got special schooling from the World School once she set sail, the same should apply to these kids or else someone will call out ‘discrimination’. Of course, the problem is that children of school-going age are being kept out of school by the educational system. What’s more, the parents aren’t legally allowed to home school their children, but I really do hope they are, I know I would.

(Link:, Photo of a sailboat by the US Navy)

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August 5, 2011

‘Four nights in the slammer for no bike lights’

Filed under: Bicycles,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:16 pm

A man who spent four nights in jail after failing to pay a € 40 fine for not having lights on his bike has been given € 345 in compensation. I thought the fine was € 25, but OK, it must have gone up. And having learnt how to drive in Amsterdam, those lights on bikes are very important since there are so many cyclists.

The police discovered the man still owed fines after giving him one. They took him down to a police station, but when a friend came later to pay the fine, the friend was told to go away. That part I do not get at all.

The next day, the man was moved to Almere from wherever he was stopped because it was the weekend and apparently, the police there have a serious 9 to 5 mentality and don’t deal with fines on weekends. A cell mate even offered to pay the fine in cash, but this was not accepted either. I just don’t get it.

I guess the police were out for bad publicity and they got it: the man spent four nights in jail before he was released and the cops had to fork out more money that it was worth, courtesy of the national ombudsman (!).

(Link:, Photo by Flickr user heliosphan, some rights reserved)

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