School battles Google over ‘nasty’ prank

by James Reid21 Apr 2016

A Sydney school is demanding that Google remove images showing large phallic symbols that were etched into its oval by a prankster.

The recent Google Earth satellite images were described by the school’s principal as “cheap and nasty words, scars in our landscape”.

Clancy Catholic College, located in West Hoxton in Sydney’s southwest, reported the incident to police just three weeks ago – approximately six months after it occurred.

A complaint was also lodged with Google, which has refused to comment on the matter.

In the school’s April 1 newsletter, its principal Iris Nastasi wrote that the “cruel action” had cast her school in a negative light.

“It was cheap because it was anonymous and without courage, sneaky and secretive,” she wrote.

“Nonetheless, this cruel action cast us into the public spotlight when Google Earth picked it up. Despite removing the graffiti within hours, despite several appeals to Google…I watched a photo of our oval receive worldwide attention.”

Green Valley Police Chief Inspector Steve Corry told The Daily Telegraph that in his 40 years of policing, he had not experienced this type of incident before.

“It’s still a criminal offence to damage a property, regardless of whether it’s a prank or not,” he said.

“We’re still conducting further inquiries but the school was given advice to contact Google.”

Nastasi said the incident did not reflect “who we are or what we stand for”.

“This action does not and will not detract from who we are because we will not let it,” she said, adding that Google did not give the school notice of their intended flyover to capture the image.

“It is interesting that Google can take photos without your knowledge and then in an instance like this, when your community is defamed, they don’t need to apologise, resolve the issue or even respond,” Nastasi said.
 

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