A student threw a salami sandwich at Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard during an appearance at a Canberra high school Thursday -- which is, improbably, the second time a student has lobbed a sandwich at Gillard this month.
Gillard was at the school to promote a controversial education funding agreement, the Canberra Times reports. A video broadcast on local TV shows Gillard walking through a crowded hallway, surrounded by a throng of reporters and students, when the sandwich appears out of the crowd and falls to the ground behind her. Gillard seems to turn around and look at the ground before moving down the hall again. If the prime minister was fazed by the repeat sandwich-throwing, she didn't show it:
That agreement involved controversial funding changes to Australia's public and independent schools. Only two states, New South Wales and the Australia Capital Territory, have signed up for the changes, which promise large financial boosts for schools -- and which, according to some commentators, are Gillard's "last, best and only chance" at reelection. Approval of her center-left Labor party had slid to 29 percent in a recent Fairfax/Nielsen poll.
On May 8, another high school student was suspended for 15 days after throwing a Vegemite sandwich at Gillard during an appearance at a school in Queensland. Gillard was there to sign an agreement on disability insurance.