Fake Drugs, Bullying & Errant Hugging

The results of a drug survey administered to 339 Pierson High School, Sag Harbor, students in grades 7 through 12 has been released. The kids were told they could fill out the survey anonymously, and they were asked, do you or have you ever taken one of the following drugs, after which was a list.

One item on the list was a fake drug. The testers had put it there as a “control.” Regardless, some of the students checked it off as something they had used. Had the kids checked it off because they thought they should have heard of it and figured they probably did take it? Or were the kids just pulling the testing company’s chain?

The study did show that some kids at Pierson have tried drugs, and responses varied greatly—on both ends of the drug-use scale—from county, town and national averages. Alcohol use, however, seems to be higher than average. Pierson is rated the 437th best high school in the country by Newsweek, by the way.

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There were four incidents of alligators caught on Long Island earlier this month according, to Newsday. Animal control officer Jessica Eibs-Stankaitis, rounded up one of these alligators at the Great Rock Golf Course in Wading River and took it to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, where it will be on display.

The alligator was discovered in a small drainage pond on that golf course. A second alligator, a baby, was captured on the front lawn of a homeowner in Mastic Beach. On separate occasions, two 3-foot alligators were found crawling across the parking lot of a supermarket in Baldwin.

“(Alligators) can grow up to 14 feet long and 700 pounds,” said Eibs-Stankaitis. “People don’t know what they are getting into when they get them.”

How the alligators got to Baldwin—Southern State or Sunrise—is not clear.

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The Sag Harbor Police received reports and then subsequently rounded up three inebriated people who had fallen down on one or another of the streets in town. (Madison, Route 114, Hamilton). One is believed to have filed the report himself, possibly having used his cellphone from the prone position. All three were brought to headquarters but then taken to wherever it was they had to go. This was during the music festival in that town.

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October is National Bullying Prevention Month and a $20,000 grant was appropriated to the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County Family, Health and Wellness program by the Long Island Community Foundation to promote anti-bullying programs. A program called “Dignity at School, Dignity at Home,: Empowering Parents to Prevent Bullying,” will benefit schools on the East End, specifically in Southampton, Hampton Bays, Quogue and Southold School districts. The group plans on undertaking a host of initiatives with the schools to comply with the New York State Dignity for All Students Act, which seeks to provide a safe learning environment that is free from harassment and bullying.

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A boy named Parker Jackson has started a pro-hugging Facebook page called “Free Hugs.” He goes to the Chase Middle School in Forest City, North Carolina. The Facebook page, which encourages giving hugs, is the result of a severe scolding he and some of his classmates got from the principal when he returned from the hospital after having a seizure. Lots of hugging soon went on, followed by the scolding, via megaphone, from the principal who said the school had a firm rule against hugging on school property.

Such laws are also in effect, apparently, according to the New York Daily News, at the Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School in New Jersey and at the Brooklyn Prospect Charter School here in New York.

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The New York Times published a photo on its front page last week of a garbage can in a New York City High School cafeteria, which was full of fruit and vegetables and other healthy lunches. The kids just throw them away.

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Due in part to a scandal at Great Neck North High School last year in which a graduate with high SAT scores was hired to take the SATs for other students, all students taking the SATs will now be required to submit photos of themselves when they sign up for the exam as well as when they take the exam.

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Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is suing a porn film producer who allegedly featured such movie titles as “Boston Crème Thigh” and “New York Fat and Chunky” and “Peanut Butter D-Cups” under the line of “Ben and Cherry’s” movies. The design of the cover of the DVDs closely models the designs of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream containers. Fuggedaboutit.

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Somebody reported a stolen cellphone to the police earlier this month. Investigating, East Hampton Village police went to a house on Cedar Street and, as they talked to the people there, “activated” the stolen cellphone, which rang in the pocket of an 18-year-old man by the name of Justin Cruz. Police arrested Cruz, put him in handcuffs and in the back of a police car, then went back inside to interview someone. Cruz, who is very agile, brought his handcuffed hands, which were behind his back, under his legs and feet and up to his chest, then climbed into the front seat of the police car, went out the door and fled off into the woods.

A manhunt ensued. This included a helicopter and a drug-sniffing dog, who
thought he had the scent for awhile, but then didn’t have it anymore.

Early next morning, Cruz appeared at the offices of the police in Wainscott and gave himself up. He was arrested on charges of being in possession of a stolen cellphone and fleeing from arrest. In court the following Saturday, when the judge asked him to explain all this, Cruz said that he just got scared. He still hadn’t completed community service from a crime committed last April. Bail was set at $500.


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