Love Shouldn’t Hurt

By Alyssa Jahnke –

How much will you take to be with the person you “love?”

Even though relationship abuse is not common in Penn Manor High School, it still exists. Some teens may be scared to tell the truth about what happens in their relationship.

Some teens don’t know when they are in an abusive relationship. Some warning signs are if your partner:

  • puts you down.
  • is very controlling.
  • threatened to commit suicide if you leave them.
  • acts very jealous and possessive.
  • has threatened you or hurt you.

There can be mental, sexual and physical abuse. According to ACADV, a state Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 60 percent of girls, ages 15 to 24 surveyed were involved in an ongoing abusive relationship that they chose to stay in.

A girl upset about her abusive relationship. Photo Courtesy of

“I consider relationship abuse when someone hits you or hurts you mentally through fighting,” said Jacklyn Schmalhofer a senior at Penn Manor.

Being with someone in a relationship you want to feel safe with them and not have to worry what they are going to say or do next. Teen relationship abuse can gradually accelerate over time.

“I have had a girl tell me she was going to slit my throat because I kissed another girl at a party,” said a junior boy at Penn Manor.

Teens who are involved in a abusive relationship are more likely to use drugs, do poorly in school and have unexplained injuries, according to Trouble Teen a site to help parents with teen issues.

Lauren Anderson, a junior at Penn Manor said, “My advice to all the ladies out there, if you can’t keep him on the leash he will beat you with the leash!”

Anderson was giving her advice that young women should not lose control of the relationship.

According to WebMD, about 80 percent  of girls that have been physically abused in their relationship continue to date the abuser.

A junior girl at Penn Manor said, “I have been in a relationship that has started out verbally aggressive and then got physically aggressive. The fights slowly got worse and I thought they would get better but they never did.”

If there is a violent relationship problem, there are many people that can be contacted with helpful advise.

“If you are in an abusive relationship get out of it or at least try too,” said Schmalhofer.

If you need advice about reltationship abuse contact the Lancaster County Women Shelters Hotline, (717)291-5826.

Messages of Support Continue in Girls’ Bathrooms

Inspiring notes are still being found in the girls' bathroom. Photo by Sarah Garner

“You are so beautiful,” “hey there beautiful… smile,” and “smile, you’re too pretty not to.”

Wouldn’t you like to wake up each morning having someone say these things to you?

Well, you can if you’re a girl at Penn Manor High School.

Lately, mornings at Penn Manor have been self-esteem boosters for some Penn Manor students.

Usually walking into the girls’ cafeteria bathroom consist of straightening your hair, doing your makeup or fixing your clothes.  But lately, girls are getting a kick of confidence from positive messages and even flowers and candy left conspicuously by each sink.

“We feel appreciated because [the people doing it] know the girls go in this bathroom,” said freshman Aalyiah Glen-Cephas.

Notes first appeared in September and may have been part of a national effort to raise self esteem among girls.

Caitlin Boyle, a 26-year-old from Charlotte, N.C., is credited with starting “Operation Beautiful” that strives to help women stop the negative talk about themselves and other girls.

Boyle started her healthy lifestyle blog online in June 2009. She also started the posted-note trend which has spread to many public schools and bathrooms across the country and includes the walls of Penn Manor bathrooms.

Other notes in Penn Manor’s girls’ bathrooms read:“You are so much beautiful” and “God Loves You.”

Now, it looks like it’s being expanded from the last time these notes appeared because now there are flowers and candy rather than just notes on the mirror.

Juniors Maribel Dixon and Aaliyah Glenn-Cephas take time to appreciate the message left randomly in the girl's bathroom. Photo by Sarah Garner

The group of girls in the bathroom who found these items were at first confused because they were not sure what all the fuss was about, but then they were pleasantly surprised when they read the messages along with the gifts.

“It boosts up my self-esteem in the morning,” said junior Maribel Dixon

Some girls at Penn Manor are loving the excitement of not knowing what is next.

“It makes me feel precious because the note I found said so,” said freshman Michelle Keck.

“It makes me feel beautiful,” said freshman Stacie Millson.

The girls look forward to seeing these notes and now with additional candy and flowers they are even more excited.

They ask themselves, what will we find next?

By Sarah Garner

Messages of Love and Encouragement “Stick” to Students

Girls are walking into the bathrooms at Penn Manor this year and are seeing notes aimed at raising their self esteem.

Written simply with a marker on Post-it-type notes, messages have been seen on bathroom stall doors that say, “you are beautiful,” “believe you are beautiful,” and “you are so much beautiful!”

Notes of encouragement are being posted in Penn Manor's girls bathrooms.

Although the author of the notes is anonymous for the moment, it may be someone who was inspired themselves by a similar campaign to promote a healthy lifestyle for adolescent girls.

Dubbed “Operation Beautiful” by its founder, Caitlin Boyle, a 26-year-old from Charlotte, N.C., said on her website that she strives to help women stop the negative talk about themselves and other girls.

Boyle started her healthy lifestyle blog June 2009. She also started the posted note trend which has spread to many public schools and bathrooms across the country and, since this year, includes the walls of Penn Manor.

Other notes in Penn Manor’s girl’s bathrooms read:“You are so much beautiful” and “God Loves You.”

As for the author of these notes, that still remains a mystery as does the amount of the amount of girls in Penn Manor who’ve seen the notes so far. But as for the ones who have, it seems that the message is getting through.

“It’s a good idea, because high school girls are always down about themselves,” said senior Mikah Farbo.

Other girls may have not seen the notes but said they would appreciate the message.

Simple notes are aimed at making a difference.

“It would probably make me smile,” replied Ella Perry.

“I would probably be surprised, especially since there’s always negative things written in the bathrooms,” Elana Hart responded.

Compared to last year’s problem with nasty and demeaning messages, which was covered by a story in Penn Points, the messages in Penn Manor’s girl’s bathrooms this year are a lot more positive.

Whether its one person or more, posting these notes around Penn Manor proves a positive attitude can “stick” to others.

By Sarah Garner and Robert Henry

Kendal Phillips contributed to this story