Planking leads to suspension
DESPITE the death of a 20-year-old man in Brisbane while “planking” at the weekend, Warwick students are choosing not to heed warnings about the craze with three students yesterday being suspended for taking part.
Planking – also known as “extreme lying down” – is an internet sensation sweeping the globe which encourages people to lie flat like a board on top of random objects.
Plankers then post photos of themselves in action – or lack thereof – receiving acclaim from peers and planking cohorts for the most difficult and risky plank.
The craze went viral last week when a man made headlines after being arrested for planking on top of a police vehicle.
The news inspired countless others to join in and there are fears more deaths and injuries will follow as people try to outshine and out-plank each other.
Yesterday three Warwick State High School students were caught planking in the school grounds by a teacher and were suspended for two days as a result.
One of the suspended students yesterday told the Daily News he did not see what the problem was and said suspension would not end his planking fun.
“I don’t see how it’s that bad,” the student said.
“Like someone died but that was out of a seven-storey building, not a park bench.”
The student said he and another student were caught by a teacher planking and he said he didn’t believe the punishment fit the crime.
“I don’t think it’s fair because all we were doing was laying flat in certain spots – it’s not like were on buildings or up trees.”
Despite being reprimanded by his teachers and chastised by his mother, the students said he would continue planking.
“My mum ripped me but then saw the funny side,” he said.
“It hasn’t stopped me doing it. It’s fun and I did it at school because that’s where you know your friends will be.
“We didn’t start at school – me and some friends did it on the way as well.”
Department of Education and Training regional director Greg Dickman confirmed three WSHS students were yesterday disciplined for “inappropriate behaviour” and said schools took a tough stance against any behaviour which could jeopardise the safety of students.
“Any dangerous or anti-social behaviour – ‘planking’ or otherwise – which puts students, staff or visitors at our schools at risk is not tolerated,” Mr Dickman said.
“The department supports its principals in taking a strong, zero-tolerance approach to such unsafe behaviour.”
Police are warning members of the public that planking may seem like a bit of light-hearted fun but could quickly turn to tragedy if an accident occurred.
Last weekend saw what is believed to be Australia’s first planking death, with 20-year-old Kangaroo Point man Acton Beale plunging to his death after attempting to plank on a 5cm balcony rail.
The death has resulted in a number of warnings being issued regarding the danger of the activity, with Deputy Police Commissioner Ross Barnett advising plankers to re-think their decision.
“Police fear that as planking gains popularity there may be more injuries and potentially further deaths,” he said.
“Earlier this week a man was charged after he trespassed on police property in order to plank across the back of a police car.
“If other people break the law during this activity they will be charged as well.
“Accepting a risk of injury for yourself is one thing, but the potential is there for others to be injured as a result of your behaviour.”
Plankers can be charged with a criminal offence if they attempt the activity in areas that constitute trespass or in dangerous locations and Deputy Commissioner Barnett said police will not tolerate people putting lives at risk, whether their own or other innocent bystanders.