Is this news story true? Kid named Hell banned from school

This story is floating all over the internet right now:
Max Hell, age 5, not admitted to a Catholic school because of his surname. School has now agreed to let him attend, but father is feeling “victimised” and is going to send his son to public school instead., which is a UK fake news site, has it on their website and says it’s fiction.

The school does exist in Melbourne, though, and there is an A. Hell listed in the the Australian White Pages, living in a Melbourne suburb.

I don’t want to call the guy or anything, but is there any other way to verify if this is in fact an Onion-like hoax that has been picked up by major news outlets?

I dunno, but if that kid ever gets his doctorate, he’ll basically be dooming himself to a lifetime of super-villainy

How hard is it to enter “Max Hell” into Google News?

What’s in a name? For would-be pupil Max Hell, it’s been, well, hell

That’s one of over 160 news articles on the incident. There appear to be statements by the boy’s father and the school itself. It’s all over the Australian news and no one is calling the story’s bluff.

His surname shouldn’t matter to the school. They should only ban him for unseemly behaviour… like if he was to start smoking.


That would make role call interesting, just to see a nun say ‘hell’.

I had a teacher at a Catholic grade school named ‘Heck’. I wonder…

If I had a university, I would offer him an honorary doctorate upon graduation from sixth grade. I mean, that’s just too cool.

Uh, yeah, that’s why I said it’s all over the internet and that it’s been picked up by major news outlets. That doesn’t mean it’s true. There have been a few instances of spoof or fake news stories that have been published in mainstream, respectable news sources that have later been shown to be hoaxes. If you had read both of my links, you would see that this has been published on a spoof news site, similar to the Onion, and it is saying it’s fiction and written by one of their contributors. It doesn’t seem like it’s a huge leap to think that maybe someone’s not being honest here.

What I want to know is if the spoof website is publishing a real news story and saying it made it up, or are some real news sites being hoaxed.

<< “Most kids in primary school probably wouldn’t know what hell meant but in the Catholic schools, heaven and hell is an issue,” Mr Hell said. >>

Right. No one in public school has heard of heaven and hell. :confused:

I do note that the “real” story is dated July 10, while the fake stroy is dated July 9. The school is real, as are the names of the pastor and principal in the “real” story, but I was able to dig up that information using Google™ based on the name in the fake story, so that does not really mean anything. (I really hope that the story is fake. It is sad thinking of responsible adults behaving quite so stupidly.)

…or freeze over

The Melbourne paper *The Age * is carrying the story too: link. It would be easy enough for *The Age’s * journalists to corroborate the details, so I’d assume it’s true. Dumb though.

Were the lad to prove extremely bright, I can imagine classmates seeking assistance being told to “Go to Hell” and happily doing so. :wink:

Did you miss the part where the child is Five and the school is for Five year olds - hence Primary.

If the surname is German in origin, then the kid is already bright—“hell” means “bright” or “light” in German.

I think the kid had a close call. He almost ended up going to a school where the administrators are so stupid they won’t admit people because they have particular superstitions about certain words. Phew. Close one. If you want to be upset about this story, be upset about the poor kids who *actually have to go * to this school.

IIRC, there’s a crater on the moon called Hell … and it’s named after an astronomer who was also a Jesuit priest (I have a vague feeling he was Father Maximilian Hell, SJ).

Like psychonaut says, it’s just German for “bright”. You’d expect any moderately clued-up Catholic school administrator to know that … Hmm. This, and the fact that the kid has the same name as the 18th century priest, rather detracts from the story’s credibility, to my mind …

I note that in the “Age” article, while the father claims his son’s enrolement was rejected, the school says the exact opposite. So, even if the news story is not fake, we still don’t know if the school did knock back his enrolement or not. I can totally imagine a small school registry office, expecting a “Max Wembridge” going “Who the …ummm… heck is this Max Hell kid? … someone’s playing pranks again” and rejecting the application just because they didn’t realise it’s the same person.

My last post was based on the assumption that the OP title was accurate, which it seems it may well not be. If one actually reads the Age story it seems the father suggested the name change because he’d been teased as a kid. The principal and priest agreed to go along with it (there’s no evidence that this was because they didn’t like “hell” but may well have been because they agreed it might avoid teasing). The father then changed his mind. He says the school then refused enrolment, but the school denies this, and if you read the actual quotes from the father he isn’t explicitly quoted as saying they refused him. I think this story has been seriously sexed up.

Go to a primary school with 5 year olds and I’m sure there’s all kinds of “well my mommy said you’re going to hell!”