Mayoral candidate Cr Debbie Blumel is standing by her daughter, Division 8 candidate Theresa Blumel, after yesterday afternoon when the Sunshine Coast Daily made 13 phone calls to the young teacher and contacted the Brisbane and New South Wales offices of the AEIOU charitable foundation where Miss Blumel is a special education teacher of autistic children.
Cr Blumel said that a Sunshine Coast Daily journalist had phoned Miss Theresa Blumel 13 times in four hours while she was teaching autistic children at an AEIOU centre yesterday. The Daily also contacted the Brisbane and NSW offices of the AEIOU not-for-profit foundation trying to send messages to the 23 year old teacher and get personal access to her.
Cr Blumel said Theresa Blumel was made aware of the tsunami of phone calls to the charitable foundation’s head office and to her own phone.
Cr Blumel said, “Theresa could not leave her post because her teaching must be uninterrupted, and had to manage the disruption it was causing in the classroom.
“It was simply not possible for Theresa, as a teacher of children with disabilities, to walk away from her students to respond to the Daily’s escalating pressure.
“But today she’ll be back at work, having seen that the urgent story was nothing other than the Daily’s belated discovery that she has been dating another candidate, Taylor Bunnag, for about three months.
“This is hardly news”, said Cr Blumel. “It has been mentioned as a human interest story in a competing newspaper – the Quest Journals – on three occasions.
“Theresa is 23 years old and of course she can see whoever she wants. I think it is very quaint for the Daily to suggest that young women always agree with their good friends or even their mother!
“But given that she is a special education teacher, she has in abundance all the qualities needed to deal with the antics of some elements of the local media!”
Cr Blumel said that she was concerned about the trend in some media to create news instead of reporting it. Cr Blumel said that she had advised the Sunshine Coast Daily’s editor Mr Mark Furler in no uncertain terms to stop using his newspaper to make the news instead of reporting it.
Cr Blumel said she made no apology for standing up for a fair go for young teachers in their workplaces and autistic children whose parents expect an unpressured environment. “Standing up for a fair go, without fear of media retribution, is something politicians must be able to do!”