Pair of se­niors charged for chicken prank

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

LOWER POTTSGROVE » Two Pottsgrove High School se­niors who let a live chicken loose in the school as a prank have been charged by po­lice with disor­derly con­duct.

Sara Abri Am­ber, 18, and Em­ma­lyn Hu­ber, also 18, were both cited, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion re­leased by Lower Pottsgrove po­lice Chief Mike Foltz.

It all be­gan Wed­nes­day morn­ing, May 23, when the girls en­tered the school “wear­ing black cloth­ing” and re­leased the chicken in the halls “dis­rupt­ing the daily ac­tiv­i­ties of the school,” ac­cord­ing to the re­lease from Foltz.

A Fox News 29 re­port in­di­cated both girls were wear­ing hoods and hid their iden­tity, which led to class­room lock­downs, while the chicken — named Lutvie and a pet of se­nior class pres­i­dent Sara Amer — was wear­ing a sign that read “2018.”

In the same re­port, both girls apol­o­gized for the in­ci­dent.

“In the mo­ment, we weren’t think­ing. We were stupid,” Am­ber told the tele­vi­sion re­porter.

“We scared kids, we scared a teacher. We put their lives in what they thought was in dan­ger, so yeah I re­gret it,” Hu­ber said on cam­era.

“It just cre­ated hys­te­ria for about 30 min­utes,” Su­per­in­ten­dent Wil­liam Shirk told the TV news crew. “It’s not a joke. It’s not a prank. We would have locked down the whole school. It would have been an all out lock­down be­cause we had in­trud­ers in the build­ing.”

Shirk could not be im­me­di­ately reached to an­swer ques­tions about pun­ish­ments, al­though Fox re­ported the stu­dents were sus­pended for 10 days, are barred from se­nior ac­tiv­i­ties and may not be al­lowed to par­tic­i­pate in grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies.

Some peo­ple think the pun­ish­ments are too harsh, so much so that an on­line pe­ti­tion call­ing for a re­duc­tion in their pun­ish­ments has al­ready at­tracted nearly 1,200 sig­na­tures.

“In the end, the act was com­pletely harm­less and no one was ever in real dan­ger, not even the chicken. I feel that th­ese stu­dents are re­ceiv­ing cruel and un­usual pun­ish­ment for this harm­less act,” wrote Bre­anna A., who posted the pe­ti­tion.

But not sur­pris­ingly, opin­ion in the com­mu­nity is mixed about the prank and the pun­ish­ment.

“Cre­at­ing a pe­ti­tion re­ally? This is silly. Ac­cept pun­ish­ment, re­spon­si­bil­ity and move on,” Adri­enne Marie wrote on the Pottsgrove High School Dis­cus­sion/Net­work­ing page on Face­book.

Bri­anna McDe­vitt wrote “I was there. I wit­nessed the in­di­vid­u­als run­ning in­side with the chicken (which was not scary, or threat­en­ing, they barely even ran). They came in­side through a door that was not heav­ily seen by any­body, in par­tic­u­lar any­one’s class­rooms, placed the chicken in an al­most empty hall­way. And then kids watched and laughed and thought ‘hey, this is so cool, and funny’ not once was I fright­ened. And I’m a big ad­vo­cate for safety in our schools due to the ter­ri­ble gun vi­o­lence in our world to­day.”

Lisa Hu­ber stuck up for her daugh­ter in com­ments posted on the page: “I’m the mother of one of the stu­dents. My daugh­ter is 18. She told me about the plans for re­leas­ing the chicken in the school. I did not have a prob­lem with it. She did not say they were plan­ning on cov­er­ing their faces. I would have told her that was a bad idea and to not cover her face. No one is say­ing they shouldn’t be pun­ished. If the school wants to press charges fine. If they have to pay fees and fines fine but why take grad­u­a­tion away?”

On the same page, Pottsgrove School Board mem­ber Al Leach posted the fol­low­ing: “This is just a thought then I will leave it alone. Think for a mo­ment when you have a child that must be pun­ished. You ground them for two weeks and be­cause the friend’s party is dur­ing this time frame your child can not at­tend.

“If your child takes their pun­ish­ment like an adult and you see they have done ev­ery­thing to un­der­stand their ac­tions have con­se­quences, what is the like­li­hood you may let them out of pun­ish­ment a lit­tle early? Say to at­tend the party.

“Now, on the other side your child fights you, doesn’t lis­ten, protests, and forces your hand the en­tire time of pun­ish­ment. Do you sim­ply give in?

“Just a thought on all the com­ments, pe­ti­tions, and protests that con­tinue,” Leach wrote.

“In the mo­ment, we weren’t think­ing. We were stupid.”

— Sara Abri Am­ber, Pottsgrove prankster

“We scared kids, we scared a teacher. We put their lives in what they thought was in dan­ger, so yeah I re­gret it.”

— Em­ma­lyn Hu­ber, Pottsgrove prankster

“It’s not a joke. It’s not a prank. We would have locked down the whole school.”

— Wil­liam Shirk, Pottsgrove Schools su­per­in­ten­dent

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