Edmonton Journal
Sunday, January 23, 1997

Teacher fired for racy Web site

HALIFAX (CP) -- A teacher who directed students to his home page on his first day at work in a private school this week ended up caught in his own Net.

Ambros Prechtl was fired Tuesday by Halifax Grammar School after some students complained to parents about material they found on his Web site.

"I had a few raunchy jokes in there", said Prechtl, 64. "You don't look at your home page every day. I had forgotten I had the damn things in there."

He said he created the home page about a year ago. At the time, he said, he didn't really know what he was doing and, while experimenting, threw in some links to humor lists.

"I didn't really know what was in them", he said "I was just happy to have some links that worked."

When he found out what kind of jokes were there, he meant to remove them from his Web page, he said. But he put it off and forgot about them, he said.

His home page also included "an irreverent self-portrait", his ideas on wholesome living and a literary section. "Very, very interesting things", he said. "Nothing else in any way shady."

Prechtl started Monday teaching German and French to Grades 8, 9 and 10.

He has since yanked the links from his Web site and posted an apology to those who were offended by the jokes. He understands the school's decision to fire him and has no hard feelings, he said.

"If there's anyone I could be angry at, it's me for being so stupid", he said. "This is a kind of exclusive private school. Parents were upset."

The school's headmaster, John Messenger, declined comment.

Parents had no shortage of things to say, however.

"Police should be involved and he should be banned from teaching permanently", said Carol Robertson. "I don't want an excuse. I don't care why he did it. I don't want him around my children or anyone else's."

"You go out of your way - especially here at a private school - to pay all the costs because you want a bit of extra control and extra attention, and that includes getting rid of people like that."


Copyright © 1997 by Canadian Press. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.