“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”

Recycling is a simple concept. Turn your unwanted materials into something useful.

But people are getting lazy.

I can’t drive down the road without seeing a cup or a bag lying lifeless on the road. It’s sad and disappointing that even now, with the hype of global warming, people are littering mindlessly, not even giving it a second glance. Sometimes, if there is no one behind me, I will get out of my car and pick up the trash.

It’s disgusting that people think it’s ok to throw their waste on the streets, while those are many of the same people who “oppose” it. The trash we throw onto the streets have long term effects on our planet. From traveling through storm water systems into our oceans and bays, harming and killing wildlife, to having negative effects on our health by the spreading of bacteria.

Not to mention that litter looks repulsive and also takes a long time to decompose.

For example:

-Banana — 3 to 4 weeks

-Paper bag — 1 month

-Cigarette butt — 2 to 5 years

-Tin can (soup or vegetable can) — 80 to 100 years

-Aluminum can (soda pop can) — 200 to 500 years

-Plastic 6-pack rings — 450 years

-Plastic jug — 1 million years

-Styrofoam cup – Unknown

-Glass bottle — Unknown


By just dropping your junk in a green bin you can help prevent global warming, save energy and reduce the amount of harmful toxins released into the environment. Recycling also has economic benefits such as creating jobs and saving money.

So think again before you throw your coke bottle out the window, it will be there for awhile.

By Katlin Blake

Cell Phones and the School System

No matter what the policy, students will always keep their cell phones close at hand. It may seem to the school board that they can do something about the ongoing texting spree that occurs in classrooms of high schools all across America, but the students feel differently. Right now Dr. Leichlieter is examining the cell phone policy and considering loosening the rules on cell phones in school.

Texting isn’t necessarily the most dangerous thing students can be doing in their learning environment. Being a high school student, I know that I am perfectly capable of learning while texting. I do agree that while a teacher is speaking it may be rude to pull out your phone and text, but that isn’t the only time that texting is taking place. Many students walk in the halls, and in order not to be rude by pulling their phone out during class, they wait until the opportune time between classes. However, even though these students have attempted to be kind to their teachers and wait, the teachers will just turn around and snag your phone from you will while you’re walking in the hall.

Is that really necessary? Is it really that big of a deal that students may have something to say to each other while between classes? After all, our generation is known for being the most adjusted to technology, so this shouldn’t be taken away from us. Technology is definitely a large part of my life in many aspects. I know that many adults may look down on texting, or not approve of it in some sort of protest on the dependency on technology.

But many of us are well-aware that texting is not the only use of a cell phone that students may be taking advantage of. Many cell phones have a calculator or calendar that will come in handy during class time. There have been many times where I haven’t had a calculator but I’ve had my cell phone right in my pocket, and I’ve attempted to use it. Some teachers understand that this is not big deal however other teachers act as though you’ve just committed a felony and the world is going to end when they see you slide open your phone and press a few keys.

Technology is coming into schools from all angles, from the smart boards, to new computers, and new software available to students. It would only be logical to allow a high school student’s favorite technology to be allowed into their school. There are many advantages to cell phones, especially many of the newer models, and having them in school may be beneficial. Cell phones include applications such as calendars, calculators, timers, the internet and its many sources, and video recording (which could be used during an experiment in a science class or any other important events).

Personally, I think that if students were granted the opportunity to use their cell phones in school, they would not exploit the new privilege. I believe that many students would still be somewhat respectful and not go completely crazy with the new rule. The administration might as well recognize that no matter what they do, students are going to text in school, it’s just the question of whether or not they have been allowed to do so. Until Penn Manor decides to lighten up on their cell phone policy, they will be stock-piling cell phones in the office until the end of time.

By: Abby Wilson

Cell Phones Allowed in Schools?

Look out for more classroom distractions. Penn Manor students may be getting a break on cell phone usage.

The claim is that cell phones will provide more efficiency for internet access and other school instruments such as calculators. The real issue here is another excuse for students to pull out their cell phones. It will enable a more relaxed restriction on cell phones that may allow students an easier way to use phones without having to hide them under the desk or behind bags.

With this freedom, it is almost guaranteed that students will take advantage of it to text their friends or use the internet for games or for other uses that weren’t intended with the privilege. Even if restrictions are set on the phones for the usage to be strictly school related, it’s inevitable that students will easily sneak past any such rules.

Students are often distracted without cell phones. People already snap gum, whisper to the people next to them, rap on their desks, and cause other disruptions. Adding cell phones will just add to the noise of an already noisy environment for students who enjoy complete silence. It would be irritating to get stuck beside someone who spends their whole class period clicking mysterious messages on their phone, or who spends time twirling their phone around to mess with the latest applications.

There aren’t many advantages to cell phone usage. There are laptop carts, there are means of getting calculators, there are computer labs and other resources – let’s not forget the ever dwindling thought of using the library – that can enable students with more than enough technology to get by in school life. Past generations have learned just fine without today’s cell phone outbreak.

All that can be said is: let’s not encourage students to use their cell phones even more than they already are. It’s already an obsession to many teenagers, so why push it to become more of a necessity to life?

By: Samantha St. Clair

The Trouble With Texting

While our world is constantly gaining new forms of communication, we are also losing the valuable interactions we used to hold. People rarely talk to each other face to face, as they would rather talk online or by texting. Is the internet world really worth losing all the other valuable aspects of life? Texting has allowed private matters to enter everyone’s lives with ease, opening the door to just as many benefits as issues.

One of the hazards of cell phones is texting while driving. Over one-third of young drivers admit to texting while on the road. While all forms of cell phone use are dangerous to use on the road, texting while driving is the worst. While texting, drivers have their eyes off the road for much longer than if they were to actually be talking on the phone. In fact, texting while driving creates a 23% increased chance of getting in an accident, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s research. Regardless, cell phone usage at all while driving can be fatal, as it caused approximately 6,000 American deaths in 2008.

It’s worth waiting to get home, yet people are fascinated with multi-tasking in today’s fast paced world.

Text messaging has become a way for people to supposedly get things done faster. However, it would take less time to actually call the person than to send a message, wait, and repeat for a full conversation. It is fast in the manner of sending simple, short messages. These short messages seem to be a way to avoid drawn out conversations with people you know will talk for a while. If you don’t want to hear what they have to say, however, it seems pointless to bother ‘talking’ to them at all.

A loss in the sense of personality given through a person’s voice and expressions also occurs. Those qualities of personality are being replaced by smiley faces that every other texting teenager is using – where is the individuality with that?

Texting has allowed people to do harder tasks without having to meet people face to face, as well. This creates an escape from facing emotional problems, which leads to another way for people to disregard human qualities. People enjoy the idea that they can break up with someone, tell someone bad news, or simply pass rumors without the need to actually throw emotion into anything. It lacks the personal touch people should receive from others.

Everyone wants to cut things short. As the world around us has become fast moving and thrives on ideals of quickly getting things done, communication suffers. With car accidents, loss of personality and easy escapes from hard conversations, texting certainly has hindered a world that used to thrive on talking and getting together with people in person, rather than forwarding information by cell phones.

By: Samantha St.Clair

Editorial: The Conflicts of a Stereotype

In the recent article “Bob Marley Fans Accused of Being Potheads?” Principal Phil Gale commented that “kids stopped listening” to the message. Apparently, they stopped reading, too.

The story was very clear in that there was no way Student Assistance Program leader, Mr. Darrin Donmoyer’s message accused anyone of being potheads because they wear hemp. He was making a point that it is society that makes the stereotypes that hemp wearers are potheads, not the administration and not himself.

Comments have been flowing into the Penn Points website that are proving that students still do not get the point. Not only do they lack the respect to listen to the full message, but they also lack the common sense to read an entire story.

Every comment so far has been around the point that the stereotype is wrong. We understand, we get the point, the stereotype is not always true.

Whether people choose to believe it or not, the world has not changed all that much in the last century. There is a stereotype in society that people who wear Bob Marley t-shirts or hemp necklaces are also involved in using drugs. There is also a stereotype that blondes are dumb.

Stereotypes are wrong and difficult to erase, and that is what Donmoyer proved by his message to the students. Students need to step up and accept the fact that this individuality that they hold as being so valuable, can also lead them into trouble.

When social studies teacher, Maria Vita, arrived at Penn Manor, she expected to find a classroom full of hicks with straw hanging out of their mouths, she said. Coming from New York, she came to learn that not all Penn Manor students are hicks.

The students also need to understand that stereotypes are rarely true. Not all blondes are dumb. Not all Penn Manor students are hicks. Not all hemp-wearers are potheads.

In fact, some believe that all jocks are stupid. This year, the Penn Manor football team was featured on FOX43 in a story showing their academic success.

Stereotypes do hurt; no one is refusing to accept that fact. Some people will just have to accept the fact that stereotypes will never end, unless every person in the world understands they are not valid. Certain styles lead to certain ideas or beliefs.

Donmoyer’s actions were not unprofessional, and in fact, he should be commended for the lesson he taught to the students who were actually listening to his message.

Unfortunately, the perception of the Bob Marley t-shirt or the hemp necklace wearer is that they are a pothead. Understand this conclusion is influenced by society. That does not mean cause and effect, which does not make you a pothead. It is a stereotype, repeat, most stereotypes are incorrect.

Stereotypes happen. Stereotypes hurt.

By: Tyler Barnett

Penn Manor Gets a Touch of Color: Editorial

As more minorities roll into mostly white schools, the monster of racism recedes to the shadows, away from the unsuspecting innocent eye. Here in Penn Manor, a high school set in a small, rural college town in Millersville, Pa., opinions and views are growing more and more liberal in a community once immersed in conservative backgrounds.

When I came to Penn Manor School District several years ago it was a life-changing experience for me and a big cultural shock as well. I was born in Philadelphia, Pa., and I was educated in both Delaware County and Philadelphia city schools, two districts where the number of African American students exceeded all other races. I didn’t know what to expect of my new school.

According to Penn Manor’s own race-relations consultant, Quay Hanna, “A black student coming from a mostly urban area will struggle more, since he is not only trying to adapt as a minority student, but also because he is coming from a completely different cultural background.”

I couldn’t have agreed more with this comment.  The first day I came to Manor Middle it was me, my mom, aunt, grandmother. A counselor at the middle school had just gone over the rules and regulations with us and I was, at first surprised, at how lenient the school was. There was no dress code, no school security, and recess after lunch. I thought I’d just arrived in my picture-perfect school. Then within a week, reality hit me and the struggle began.

As I walked through the halls of Manor Middle that first week, I couldn’t help but notice all the attention I was getting. Eyes following me from class to class, at first I wondered, were they just curious as to who the new student was or were they staring at me because I was black. I decided it was both.

I can’t say I had trouble making friends in my new school because everyone seemed really friendly and helpful. But I also cannot say I didn’t have serious problems at the school either. A couple of months into the school year,  a racial incident sprung up one time during lunch. I was called the “N” word multiple times by a student while sitting at a table with some friends. Although this wasn’t the first time someone called me the “N” word, it was the first time it happened here for me. I reacted by pouring water on the student and giving them some words to remember. I felt this to be a fair response especially because this student was female.

As I stormed out of the cafeteria, heated and on the edge, I marched into the office of the middle school demanding to talk to somebody. The first person I saw was the vice principal.  I explained what happened, the principal was informed, my parents were contacted.

Throughout my first year in this school district, I started seeing different sides of people. But instead of thinking that all white people are racist like many of my peers do, I realized that judging a whole race on a few people is unfair and incorrect. I had to hate the concept of racism from both sides.

As time went by, I began having less racial incidents in school. Although I’m not having racial problems anymore, I’m not so sure the problem of racism has ceased. I think Penn Manor has come a long way but from what I see and hear, it still has a mile or two to go.

By: Robert Henry