High School Locked Down for Drug Search

By Kendal Phillips and Sarah Garner –

“It was planned.”

The answer to the question that most Penn Manor students were wondering.

At the beginning of second block Friday, students and staff were notified by an announcement to go into a modified lock down.  Teachers were to lock the doors and open the blinds.  For students and staff it was unexpected and teachers were not made aware of the upcoming drug search.

Officers from Southern Regional Police Department and their canine unit searched the high school for evidence of contraband.

Teachers received an e-mail at 10:05 a.m. informing them of a random drug search, also at that time Penn Manor School District’s website had a banner describing that a drug search was going on and that students were not in any danger.

The district website described the drug search.

This drug search was free of cost and it was the first time Penn Manor participated in a random search, according to Principal Philip Gale.

“We met the officer who handles the dog at the end of January, January 25,” said Gale.  “In December we actually had the officer do a demonstration for us [at Pequea Elementary school] and there were three school board members present with us to show how the dogs would detect.  They brought drugs with them and put them in different places (for the dog to detect).”

With the support of the Millersville Borough and Southern Regional Police Departments, a search of all lockers, bathrooms and locker rooms was conducted with the use of the drug-detection canines.

The school administration made an announcement saying the hope is that students continue to be part of the solution in helping to make schools safe places to learn by reporting any drug use to an adult.

The use of the drug detection canines adds an additional element of security for all students and adults at Penn Manor High School according to the letter that was sent home with the students.

Penn Manor’s school resource officer was not involved with the search because, “his burden of proof is much higher than our burden of proof,” said Gale.  “[School Administrators] have to have reasonable suspicion and [police] need probable cause.”

When dogs detected specific areas in the school, they were marked to be further investigated.  After the search was completed and the canines left, administrators searched the marked areas.  No lockers were opened while the police or canines were still in the school.

Several lockers were detected, about a dozen students were called out of class to watch their locker get searched, according to Gale.  There were at least two administrators who searched each locker, along with the student, if a student occupied the locker.

The areas that were most frequently hit (indicated by the dog) were water fountains and door handles.  These areas are commonly touched during the school day and traces of substances could be left on them.

Gale had three major reasons for the random drug search;

1. “We have had a number of drug violations over the drug and alcohol policy this year.”

2. Keeping the school a safe environment.

3. Southern Regional police are a part of our school district so we wanted  to work with them.

“There were a number of hits due to the sensitivity of the dogs,” said Gale, “nothing was found.”

Can I get a Fist Pump Please?

“Smoosh” is the new smash for the Jersey Shore cast members.

For the past two years, millions of teens have been taking a trip to the Jersey Shore every Thursday night on MTV at 10 p.m. and if parents are listening closely enough, they may hear some new and shocking vocabulary their teens are learning from the program.

Since MTV is mainly a teen network, it is safe to say that most of people watching the show are teens.

According to MTV.com, Jersey Shore is bringing in 2.7 million more viewers than the hit show Teen Mom.  In fact, of all cable shows, Jersey Shore was ranked second out of twenty-five, only under the ESPN Monday night football and right above Nickelodeon’s iCarly.

In essence, Jersey Shore has become the “talk” of the town.  So the question is, is this new hip teen show affecting the way teens live their lives and their vocabulary?

“It doesn’t influence me to act a certain way, but it might influence younger kids who watch it,” said Penn Manor senior Moriah Freeman.

When the show first premiered, it was all about meeting new people and having fun on the Jersey shore.  This past summer, the show in Miami was all about drama, drinking and sex.

In the hopes of starting fresh in the second season, the Jersey Shore characters Ronni, Vinny, Pauly, Mike, Sammi, Nicole and Jeni came to the new house to find more drama, more alcohol and more sex.

The first issue to come about and upset the house was former cast member Angelina, who left the show early the previous season, showing up for some additional fun.

With Angelina there last season, it definitely brought more problems within the house.

Vinny and Angelina had both openly expressed their hate for one another, or what they thought was hate.

After Vinny calling Angelina “the Statin Island dump,” and Angelina saying, more then once, how ugly Vinny is, they certainly found themselves in the smoosh room.

This fires up Nicole because she claims that Angelina “smooshes” or tries to “smoosh” every guy that she does.

The “smoosh room”, or “the community sex room,” was created from an extra bedroom for when the girls or guys in the house bring home a date they met.

After the boys get their “GTL” on (gym, tan, laundry), they come back, relax and then…T-shirt time!

Then it’s time to party. The cast member have found themselves at multiple clubs in one night.

The guys were the ones who mostly came back with the “smoosh partner.”

Of course the majority of the scene is cut out, but the young kids, teens and even some adults watching might take this show a little too seriously.

“Smoosh” has become a popular word in everyday life.

“I don’t think it influences anyone but it definitely makes the show interesting,” said senior Kristi Rineer.

“I think it’s stupid how people think it’s OK to act that way,” said senior Livie Stoltzfus.

“Smoosh was added to my vocabulary,” said senior Brock Kauffman.

Those who are against it, are strongly against it and those who love it, won’t miss a Thursday night.

With another season about to start, this makes us think… what is next?

By Sarah Garner

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