A school has had to cough up $10,000 for hurting the feelings of a weirdo. The last line in the article describes him “as a bit of a freeĀ spirit”.
Creepy would be more accurate:
An “intensely intellectual” man who lived in a camouflaged van on school grounds has been awarded $10,000 in damages after he was moved on by police.
Friedrich Fehling was staying in his van parked on South Westland Area School’s grounds when he was given a trespass order in January 2009.
After a three-year battle with the Hari Hari school, Fehling was last month awarded $10,000 in damages by the Human Rights Review Tribunal for hurt feelings and loss of dignity.
The school said people felt intimidated by Fehling’s presence near the school, but the tribunal found there was no evidence of a threat.
Fehling’s van was parked by the school swimming pool on land leased by the school to one of its employees and Fehling’s friend, senior teacher Jim Costello.
Fehling had permission to keep his van on the land.
The tribunal found that Fehling’s feelings and dignity were hurt by the trespass notice.
“The stigma of being banned from the school premises for two years reinforced the hostility and suspicion with which he was being regarded by some in that community,” it said.
“The unsavoury connotation that users of the pool, particularly young children using the showers and toilets, were unsafe because of his presence has been particularly humiliating and injurious to Mr Fehling’s feelings and there has been a loss of dignity.”