Pair of seniors charged for chicken prank
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