Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Is Ending for Public Employees

By Jake Shiner and Taylor Groff –

Teacher Amy Wall is just a little worried after watching the news recently.

“I’m concerned for the future of public employees,” said Wall.

She is referring to the first term governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker who has incidentally waged war against all unions within the state, and is now feeling the pressure of a monumental decision with a tremendous impact.

Walker is attempting to weaken collective bargaining and is pressing multiple bills to achieve his and Republican’s goals. Their reasoning is the move will help to reduce the state debt but there may be an underlying political advantage at stake. Collective bargaining is what helps unions make deals, and unions have been historically known to support Democrats. Getting rid of or weakening collective bargaining would favor Republicans.

Just Friday morning the bill taking away union rights was passed in Wisconsin.

Wall is worried about this same type of thing happening in Pennsylvania.

“The governor, if he has his way, will eliminate all labor unions,” said Wall. Our governor is not pro public education he is in favor of school vouchers,” said Wall.

School vouchers give per-pupil funding to whatever school each student chooses to attend.  In theory, it would take funds away from public education and give it to private schools.

“They’re taking money we need,” said Wall, “Its scary.”

Historian Joe Herman had his own thoughts on collective bargaining.

“It should be a dialogue not a dictatorship,”

"Governor Scott Walker" Photo courtesy of www.latimes.com

Physical education teacher David Hess is not as worried.

“In Pennsylvania, I don’t think it would happen here,” said Hess.

He doesn’t believe it could happen here because of Pennsylvania’s strong union-based history. An example he gave was of Pittsburgh and steel producers. Although he has a theory for why other states like Wisconsin and Indiana would be pressing the issue.

“They’re looking to get things changed,” said Hess.

Hess noted that something similar is going on in Wisconsin and that at the Harley Davidson factory in York, Pa. a few years ago, something similar occurred. The workers accepted lower wages and layoffs and the union was impacted greatly. Once the workers were unhappy with their wages, the quality of the machines went down.

“There was less pride (in the workers),” Hess said. He says that similarly to Wisconsin, “This will not attract good teachers or employees with no unions and no benefits.”

“Do I agree with all unions?” Hess asked. “No, but I do benefit from being in the physical education field and the Pennsylvania Education Labor Union.”

All teachers at Penn Manor were asked to wear red last Tuesday to support the people of Wisconsin.

”I would hope Pennsylvania teachers are paying close attention to the unfair labor practices,” said Wall.

Students Here Reach for Soda – The Taste of Unhealthiness

“I drink chocolate milk in the morning, orangeade at lunch, cherry Pepsi during fourth block, and then some Gatorade when I get home,” said junior Joey Jackson.

What happened to drinking water throughout the day? Penn Manor seems to have forgotten, or doesn’t care, that the human body is made up of about 70 percent water.

“I only drink water when I’m doing a physical activity and feel like I actually need to put the water back into my body because I’m sweating it out,” said Jackson.

Penn Manor students are replacing water with soda and other drinks that experts say are unhealthy.

According to a forum on Nutrition and Exercise,”Soda instead of water will lead to a lot of problems. Lots of calories (weight gain), worse triglycerides in the blood (bad), more tooth decay, and much less quenching to your thirst due to the concentrated sugars.”

Unhealthy drinks that Penn Manor students seem to enjoy

“I just don’t like the taste of water,” said sophomore Samantha Horst.

Soda, sadly, is one of society’s favorite beverages. Each year, billions of gallons of soda are sold in the United States alone. Experts believe drinking soda may have serious health consequences. Obesity is a main cause of drinking too much soda, due to the fact that it is high in sugar and calories.

“I’ll be honest, I drink too much soda,” said senior Jeremy Vital, “When I’m at work I get a Mt. Dew every time I get a chance, or when I’m on my break.”

“I normally drink a lot of Gatorade when I’m at home, and sometimes soda, but never water,” said Horst.

If you drink a whole bottle of Gatorade you are still consuming about 56 grams of sugar, and this is not required in a normal sedentary lifestyle and in this situation it could be considered “bad” for you.

A few wise choices when reaching into the refrigerator

Gatorade is considered a sports drink and can be beneficial to athletes when it is drank during an activity but if it is being drank when someone is not doing physical work than it is a waste of time and can be bad for you.

According to a Nutrition and Health website, “The healthiest beverage to quench your thirst always has been, and always will be, plain old water. Water ensures proper hydration and cellular function, and these health benefits are delivered with no calories or unnatural ingredients. Drinking water also flushes out impurities and will help keep your waistline in check.”

By Dillon Walker

It’s Open – Bridge Construction Comes to an End

The bridge between Millersville and Conestoga is officially open.

At 3:15 p.m. Friday, A spokesman for the state transportation office said the barriers were being dragged away to open the bridge.

It had to open in the next 24 hours for the construction contractor not to incur a daily fine for going over the Nov. 20 deadline.

“If they didn’t have the bridge open by Saturday, they have to pay a fee,” said Greg Penny, a local PennDot spokesman, who is pretty confident the deadline will be met.

So the bridge will open, for awhile and then close partially so extra work can be done, according to state officals.

“I’m excited,” said phys-ed teacher, Britney Clugston, about the bridge. “It will make getting to Conestoga more convenient, and getting to the the Y(MCA) in Lampeter.”

When the last work is done and the bridge opens, the 6000 people inconvenienced every day will soon be able to go back to their normal routine of driving straight into or out of Millersville instead of going the whole way around.

The bridge in the district has been under construction for five months. Photo by Liz Lawrence

Tons of people all over the district are excited, even if it doesn’t inconvenience them directly.

“Maybe people will start going that way instead of my way,” said Jeremy Ostberg of Willow Street.

“It’s gonna save me gas money, instead of going the whole way around,” said junior Cheyenne Weber. “It will convenience me with sports and getting to the high school.”

“My sister-in-law lives over there, so that’s the only time I go over there,” said physical education teacher David Hess. “It will be great for us because we go there for Christmas, instead of going the whole way around.”

The construction, being done by J.D. Eckman Inc, was down to it’s last step of fixing the road to the bridge and the guide rails.

“They’re still waiting for the guide rail crew to finish sometime this evening,” Penny said. “The bridge will open then but there is still work to be done.”

Penny said work on the overhang, “sort of like scaffolding” needs to be removed.

He said that work and sealing the deck of the bridge will have to wait until December, probably the week of Dec. 6.

“A lot of the guys on the crew go hunting,” said Penny.  “So two days in December half the bridge (one lane) will be down in order to power wash the sealer and let it dry.”

He said the construction company would have to pay $3,500 in “liquidation damages” for every day past Nov. 20 that the bridge isn’t open.

For the most part, the construction project has proceeded routinely.

“I’m not aware of any construction problems,” said Penny, about the project’s time line.

The one big setback the workers faced throughout the last couple months of working on the bridge was when a 70-year-old elderly man died when he missed the warning signs and tried to walk across the bridge at 9 p.m. one night.

Police estimated the man had been in the water 20 to 25 minutes, according to a published report in Lancaster Newspapers.
By Liz Lawrence

Natalee Holloway’s case still in the news – Teens Cautioned

Five years ago on May 30, 2005, Natalee Holloway disappeared.

Divers seem to think they catpured Holloway's remains. Photo courtesy of http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/03/natalee_holloway_aruba_skeleto_1.html

She was on a high school graduation field trip to an island in Aruba. No traces of her body were found except possible skeletal remains seen in a photo by two scuba divers that captured the image at the bottom on of the ocean, which turned out to be a false alarm.

Along with the underwater mystery, there was a jaw bone found along the beach of Aruba by another couple. According to AOL.com, Dutch forensic experts are testing this bone to see if it belongs to Holloway.

As a cautionary tale, as young teens already planning senior week, they should be aware that this could happen to them.

For example, in 2002, three Manheim Township graduates were charged with sexual assault of an intoxicated 16 year old girl at senior week.

Now, being five years later, another similar murder has occurred. Police chief Gen. Cesar Guardia stated that Stephany Flores, 21, was found face down in the hotel she was last seen in with Jordan Van Der Sloot.

According to Lancaster New Era, the Dutch government said Interpol, an organization based in Paris that coordinates investigations made by the police forces of member countries into crimes with an international dimension, had issued an international arrest warrant for Sloot.

Guardia then stated that Flores and Sloot were last seen entering the Lima Hotel around 5 a.m., and Sloot exited the hotel alone about four hours later.

“We have an interview with a worker at the hotel who says she saw this foreigner with the victim enter his room,” Guardia said.

Stephany Flores Photo courtesy of http://www.cbsnews.com/i/tim//2010/06/02/ramirez1_370x278.jpg

When Flores’s body was found fully clothed, they discovered multiple abrasions to her face and body with signs of trauma, the police general stated.

Some wonder what took so long for the hotel staff to check the room.

Autopsy results are still being waited on.

Guardia said that Sloot left Peru by land and his exit registered at the Santa Rosa border crossing. Sloot had been staying at the hotel since May 14 after entering the country on a flight from Columbia.

Stated in the Lancaster New Era, Sloot was found in a taxi Thursday, June 3, several days drive and a country away, and was arrested for the murder of Stephany Flores.

He put up no fight when he was detained about half way to the Pacific coast from Santiago, stated deputy Chilean investigative police spokesman Fernando Ovalle.

According to CBS News, Sloot’s Dutch lawyer said Sloot was intending on turning himself in shortly before he was found.

After the arrest and quickly into questioning, he confessed to killing Stephany Flores.

According to ABC News, Sloot grabbed Flores by the neck when he saw her looking up information about his previous case [Holloway] and then continued by hitting her.

“I confronted her,” Sloot told investigators, according to La Republic. “She was frightened, we argued and she wanted to get away. I grabbed her by the neck and I hit her.”

“I did not want to do it. The girl intruded into my private life,” said Sloot. “She had no right.”

According to Al.com, Sloot did confess but later tried to deny the whole thing. He claimed that the only reason

Natalee Holloway went missing during her high school trip and has yet to be found.

he confessed was because he was intimidated and thought he would be extradited to the Netherlands. His request to have his confession retracted was denied.

Joran van der Sloot was previously arrested twice but with little to no evidence connecting him to Holloway’s disappearance during a high school graduation trip, he was let go in 2005.

According to a Dutch television crime reporter, a hidden camera they set up captured secret footage of Sloot saying he was with Holloway when she collapsed on a beach, drunk.

After Sloot was found, he told investigators that he left Holloway on the beach drunk which implied that that was the last time he saw her.

A Dutch Newspaper reports that Sloot took money from the Holloway family in order for them to receive the location of her body. Sloot took the money but gave no address.

Natalee’s mom sent Sloot $10,000 through an FBI agent and later transferred $15,000 into his bank account. He then caught a flight to Latin America with the money.

“I wanted to get back at Natalee’s family — her parents have been making my life tough for five years,” the Dutch Newspaper quoted him as saying from prison in Peru. “When they offered to pay for the girl’s location, I thought: ‘Why not’?”

He also publicly confessed to murdering Holloway and then retracted the statements may times.

Being a law enforcement officer and Penn Manor’s resource officer, Jason Hottenstein knows all the details about safe drinking and the dangers of being with strangers.

“You have to be extremely cautious with people you don’t know,” said Hottenstein. “Trust no one that you don’t know.”

There was also a website created to petition against senior week.

The website titled Stop Senior Week claims that the results of senior week are deaths, movies that glorify underage drinking, sex

Joran van der Sloot is taken into custody Photo courtesy of http://www.csmonitor.com/var/ezflow_site/storage.jpg

and drugs, public intoxication and drug use and hundreds of car accidents and hospital visits.

According to CBS News, Tim Miller, founder Texas Equusearch, a non-profit organization that searches for missing persons, has assisted with the search for Holloway from the beginning and has become very close friends of the family.

Miller stated that Holloway’s father, David Holloway, sends his sympathies to the Flores’ family in Peru.

“(David is) talking about what a senseless death that was, that we feel as though the cover-up that went on in Aruba, with Joran van der Sloot never being arrested, that we need to hold a lot of people accountable for Stephany’s death in Peru. I mean, a very, very sad time for everybody. And now Dave is just trying to, I think, just digest what’s really happening in his life again right now. And of course it brings it all back to 
Dave and Beth, I’m sure that it’s like it happened yesterday. So there’s disappointment, there’s anger, there’s frustrations. And, again, Stephany, there’s no reason she should be dead today. Somebody made some huge mistakes over there,” said Miller.

Joran van der Sloot is being held in a seventh-floor cell with a bunk bed and blanket with three meals a day while he is being further questioned of the death of 21 year old Stephany Flores and the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

By Sarah Garner

The Beatles, Now iPod Accessible

The British invasion, finally invading iTunes.

Apple announced Tuesday morning it has nabbed the rights to all the Beatles tunes and fans at Penn Manor are already loving it.

Every album and song available is now posted on iTunes. The songs cost $1.29 each, albums for $12.99, double albums for $19.99 and even a complete boxed set for $149.00. The boxed set includes all of The Beatles albums and a few bonus tracks.

“I am really exited to buy their music and listen to it, I didn’t know it was released, but I’m happy to hear that it was,” said senior Charles Blymier.

Charles Blymier listening to The Beatles. Photo by Kyle Hallett

“I didn’t know that that the music was released, I’m pumped to get all of their songs because I don’t have all of them yet,” said Ryan Dettrey, a fan of the Fab Four.

Dettrey is a huge fan of the Beatles and was waiting for the songs to go up on iTunes. The boxed set will be Dettrey’s Christmas gift this year.

“I don’t know why Paul McCartney didn’t have the rights in the first place,” said Adam Swift, a senior.

Swift will be buying the songs “Let It Be,” “Hey Jude” and the entire White Album.

John Lennon had the rights to the catalog ownership before he died. According to pophistorydig.com, after Lennon’s death, Michael Jackson purchased the catalog by outbidding other potential investors. The money went to The Beatles recording label Apple Records, who they signed with in 1968. When Michael Jackson died, the catalog then went to his mother. iTunes got the rights to the downloads from Jackson’s mother.

Screen shot for opening day of The Beatles on iTunes

“It is very disappointing to see the Jackson family making money off of another artist’s work,” said music teacher Melissa Telesco.

Telesco has all of The Beatles CD’s so she won’t be purchasing the MP3s. She is, however, basically doing back flips because of her excitement over the music release.

So are a lot of other people.

“I have a lot of the music…however, I am going to get the rest of the songs I don’t have on iTunes,” said Alex Lombardo, a junior at Penn Manor.

In iTunes, Abbey Road is already at the number 11 spot for the top downloaded album followed by the White Album in number 12, box set at 13 and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Club Band sitting as the 14th most downloaded album. All of the other albums are in the top downloads on iTunes and have only been accessible for a few hours.

“I will buy a few of my favorite song for the car, just because I hate CD’s and I don’t pirate my music,” said art teacher Kim McMullen.

“We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes, even though it has been ‘a long and winding road’ to get here. Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we’ve had since we launched iTunes ten years ago,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

By Kyle Hallett

Attempted Deer Break-in Excites Students, Leaves Mess

By Brian Dunne, Liz Lawrence and Cree Bleacher –

There was an attempted break-in at Penn Manor High School Friday but there was no question about the suspect.  It was a deer.

At approximately 11.a.m. Friday, a frightened and apparently injured whitetail deer tried to break into Penn Manor High School by bashing into the windows of Spanish teacher William Zapata’s and several other classrooms in the language wing.

Shortly thereafter, administrators told teachers to keep their students in their homerooms until further notice.


The deer went missing while school administrators searched throughout the school campus.

“We’re still looking for it,” said School Resource Officer Jason Hottenstein, who circled the grounds.

Officer Jason Hottenstein searching for the deer. Photo by Brian Dunne

Many students in the classrooms were reportedly startled.

Zapata, a teacher in the Spanish department, hurried over to the window, thinking that the loud noise that hit the window and left a red smear was a paintball.

“We were sitting here doing work.  We heard a thud. I looked up and saw red smeared across the window. [The deer] looked like it was lost,” said Zapata. “An eight-pointer white tail deer.”

“We were standing by the windows, and the deer slammed against the window while we were filming. I moved, I mean it scared me,” said Zapata.

The aftermath of the deer hitting the window of a classroom. Photo by Brian Dunne

“We all jumped and saw this big blot of blood come and hit the window,” said Cheyenne Miller, a freshman that was in Zapata’s room at the time.

The damage didn’t stop there. Jill Wiedmaier, a Penn Manor FCS teacher was floored when she found out that her car was rammed by the deer while parked.

But Wiedmaier was able to take the incident in stride.

“Ironically enough if I was actually in my spot it would have hit Todd Mealy’s car, but since a student decided to park in my spot today I had to park in front of them, and then Todd in front of me,” Wiedmaier said.   “At least I have a funny story to keep in my “Penn Manor Days”  book.  Who else can say that not only was there a crazy deer running around into the walls and windows of their school, but they were lucky enough to have the deer hit their car.  Guess I better play the lottery today!”

Wieidmaier's car after getting hit by the deer. Photo by Rob Henry

Nobody could believe that this was actually happening.

“I told Mr. Dell’Estate and he thought I was joking,” said Zapapta.

“How’s that for Halloween?” said one student as a class piled into the nearby hallwa


Many were left uninformed about what was going on as administration officials blocked the hallway where the incident occurred.

“I heard a deer was trying to get into a classroom through a window (from another student),” said Trevor Troup.


Penn Manor’s Online Newspaper had a Fantastic First Year

Just as Penn Points Online turned one year old, its website received its 80,000th view.

There are many students at Penn Manor that are very proud of the work they do for the newspaper, and put a lot of time into their articles.

The journalism class and club members say they love the success the newspaper had in the past year. Many people have won awards and others are in the running now for national awards.

Journalism Students celebrating one year anniversary. Photo by Angela Mayo.

“It’s really impressive for Penn Manor because no one really knows who we are and 80,000 people all over the world can access it,” said junior Sarah Schaeffer, the paper’s editor.

Schaeffer’s story on Chinese immigrant Mandy Li has been nominated for the National Scholastic Press Association’s multi-media story of the year, as has seniors Taylor Groff and Kendal Phillips’ story on the school’s mosaic project.  Out of four NSPA-nominated, multi-media stories, two are from Penn Points, one is from a school in Missouri and another one from California.

Some of the awards won in the last year are the NSPA’s Online Pace Maker Award given to the top seven online school newspapers in the country and the Pennsylvania Student Press Association gold level award. At the convention in November, the state organization will choose from the gold level nominees to name the top three students newspapers in the state.

The newspaper has improved a lot in the past year, according to its reporters. A lot more stories get posted and there are many more people in the Penn Points club.

“It used to hit 50 something per week, now were getting 500 hits or more per day,” said publisher Rob Henry.

Rob Henry has been a part of the newspaper since it started and was instrumental in launching a coffee cafe as a fundraiser for the club.

“I’m very proud to be a part of Penn Points because now were number one,” said Henry.

Many students in the class have developed a strong interest in the field of journalism.

“I like finding out things and telling stories and I like telling people the truth,” said sophomore Gabie Bauman. “Journalism is one of the careers that I’ve been considering for a while and I’ve known for a while that I wanted to write.”

Bauman believes Penn Manor’s journalism class is going to help her in the future.

“We’ve got deadlines and we’re pushed to find ideas, push out stories and produce quality material, just like in a real news room,” said Bauman.

By Liz Lawrence

Miners Arrive Home from Work 69 Days Late

Eyes from all over the world watched with intensity, including the eyes of many people at Penn Manor.

Chilean miners were raised above the lithosphere after spending 69 days a half mile under the earth’s crust to be greeted by the ones they love and cherish, their family.

Thirty three miners in all were rescued lasting an astonishing 22 1/2 hours.  The first miner arrived at 4:14 EST,  elated to see his children and wife, but quickly returning to the hole to help aid the rescue of his fellow workers.

The stories within the stories were amazing.

These miners emerged after 69 days trapped in a Chilean mine. Photo courtesy of Reuters News Service

Before the mine collapse, the last miner rescued, Luis Urzua, made one day’s worth of food for 33 people end up lasting 17 days, at which point they received more.  “Palomas,” Spanish for carrier pigeons, were lowered to provide the miners with food, medicine, and necessities to survive.

At Penn Manor, the miners’ rescue affected students and staff.

“I would go crazy.  I don’t like small spaces and the dark,” said freshman Maggie Mclintock, of the agony of being trapped in a mine for 69 days.

“I’d probably miss my family and the sunlight,” said freshman Mackenzie Trimble.

“I would miss the fresh air,” said freshman Kerry Wakefield.

Heather Paquette, health/gym teacher at Penn Manor, watched this horrifying incident since day one and said she would miss her family greatly if she was one of the miners.

“The fact that they got tubes down so quickly is fantastic since they (weren’t) supposed to be out until Christmas,” said senior Becca Irwin. ” It’s stupid they monitored everything, but makes sense.”

“It started out sad, now it’s happy,” said sophomore Elijah Villalobos about the ordeal.

“It’s about time they got’em out,” said senior Ella Perry.

“They were rescued pretty fast,” said sophomore Patrick Ament.

Senior, Tyler Beckley, would miss being able to eat homemade food, he said.

Sophomore, Amber Kuhns, said she would miss her family, phone, boyfriend and lights.

“The people got trapped and they thought they were dead, but they weren’t.  I’d miss being able to do things and having a life,” said freshman Jesse Burkholder.

The whole rescue operation was a costly $22 million to the Chilean government.

Miners were given nausea prevention pills and sunglasses so the ride and arrival in the Phoenix, a 13 foot tall capsule painted with the colors of the Chilean flag, was not as stressful.

One by one, as all 33 miners stepped out of the Phoenix, Chilean President Sabastian Pinera greeted each one with a warm welcoming to life back on earth’s surface.

“I thought it was really cool that the president of Chile was there greeting everyone the whole time,” said junior Austin Fink.

These miners were the longest to survive trapped underground in recorded history.

All of the men emerged, wearing very little due to heat, in good health and were treated for physical and psychological issues.

This event will surely be remembered forever, here and around the world.

By Cree Bleacher

Sarah Garner, Toby Holsinger, Bri Reisinger and Jordan Sangrey contributed to this report.

Synthetic Marijuana is Entering the States

Synthetic marijuana or, as kids call it, “spice” or “K2,” is becoming the new drug of choice.  It gets kids high and is currently legal.

Although it’s considered a brand new drug, coming mostly from Hong Kong, some Penn Manor students claim they’ve tried it, others have never heard of it.

“I think it’s awesome,” said a Penn Manor senior, “I’ve tried it before but don’t remember the difference from regular marijuana.”

The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind., wrote an in-depth report on the substance in an April 29 article.

According to The Gazette article, much of the K2 is packaged in Hong Kong.

Synthetic marijuana is sometimes called "K2."

The article explained that many tobacco or “smoke shops” claim the substances are herbal in nature but that they are actually laced with either JWH-018 or JWH-073, or both.

“Both of those compounds were created years ago in a Clemson University laboratory. Somewhere along the line, companies overseas obtained the compounds and started producing the herbal blends now being sold in the U.S,” the article states.

Lancaster’s Puff ‘n Stuff on North Queen Street carries a similar product.  Not called “spice, k2, or synthetic marijuana, an employee there insisted their product, sold as a herb, has the “same effect.”

The employee described the product as botanical or herbal incense and named some of the brands including, “Paradise and Bajou Blaster.”

According to an employee at Puff ‘n Stuff, you must be 18 years of age to purchase anything tobacco-related.

The Tobacco Palace in Park City Center said it does not carry any of the herbal incense products.

Nature’s Way in Elizabethtown carries both K2 and Spice which costs from $15 to $40 per gram and “must be smoked liked incense,” according to the clerk who answered the phone there.

Jason Hottenstein, Penn Manor’s Resource Officer said that he has heard of it but locally it has not been discovered yet.

“As far as the law enforcement community goes it has not yet been an issue,” said Hottenstein.

“I want to stress that these compounds were not meant for human consumption,” John Huffman, a Clemson professor whose group created the synthetic chemicals, commented in the Gazette story, “their effects in humans have not been studied and they could very well have toxic effects and they should absolutely not be used as recreational drugs.”

According to Huffman, these chemicals were created to understand relationships between structure and the biological activity of substances known as cannabinoids, which could result in new therapies for liver disease and other forms of cancer.

At this point, these chemicals are not being used for studies other than young kids wanting to get high.

According to The Phoenix New Times, the chemical JWH-018 in the synthetic marijuana is what is responsible for the high that kids are seeking.

Kids are bringing their new fad to school Photo courtesy of http://farm3.static.flickr.com

“We heard a little bit about it four or five months ago,” said Jerri Lerch, executive director of the Drug and Alcohol Consortium of Allen County, commenting in the New Times article. “High school personnel heard kids were sprinkling it on cereal and also smoking it.”

Within the last two months, Erin Roberts, Penn Manor’s Juvenile Probation Officer, said she has heard about it from kids she is monitoring.

“I would approach it like I would cigarettes,” said Roberts, “I would advise them to refrain from it.”

“Any mimic of drug use or possession is treated the same way as if they had illegal marijuana,” said Doug Eby, Assistant Principal. “[The punishment would be] ten days out of school suspension.”

After the ten days of OSS, a board hearing will be held and the board members will decide if the student(s) will be expelled.

“Synthetic drugs and herbal drug products like Spice and K2 are not made in a controlled environment and thus you are playing Russian roulette when it comes to these types of products,” said Dawn Dearden, a spokeswomen for the DEA, commenting in a published report.  The agency first began receiving reports about abuse of the substance last year.

“There is no way, outside of a controlled laboratory environment, to determine the chemical makeup, synthetic ingredients or amounts, and therefore there is no way to determine with any accuracy what the potentially harmful effects may be,” said Dearden.

Although this synthetic substance is currently legal, if you are pulled over, you will still be charged with driving while impaired, several law enforcement officials warn.

Penn Manor students have mixed views on the legal status of synthetic marijuana.

“It’s still negative to health and should be illegal,” said junior Quinn Nadu.

“I think it’s nice that it’s legal,” said junior Lindey Kunkel, “but I also think it opens a door to legalizing regular marijuana.”

By Sarah Garner and Kendal Phillips