Students are using vapor pens, or "vapes," to secretly smoke marijuana in class at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Colo.
Vapor pens are supposed to be used for e-cigarettes and can be legally bought for $25.00. By using a vapor pen, there is no "skunk" smell of pot (video below).
Are the teachers aware of this? Students say "no," but the principal says "yes."
“I’ve seen people in my math class and they’ll be sitting there with the teacher and they’ll be smoking it and they won’t even know,” student Jack Maestas told CBS Denver.
However, Lakewood High School principal Ron Castagna says, “Teachers are aware of what to look for. The nervous habit of biting on your pen has a new meaning to it."
Tim Martinez, the school's security supervisor, explained how the vapor pens work: “You can use them for weed, hash oil. Pens that come with capsules with weed in them, melts the plastic and cooks the weed."
Ironically, vapor pens were marketed to help adults stop smoking, but are being used by teens to start smoking pot.
“A kid could use it anywhere, passing between classrooms, in the bathroom quickly,” Phil Boissiere, a San Francisco psychotherapist, told NBC Bay Area.
Boissiere says teens are vaping at school, but also at home in front of their parents as a part of a weird "game."
“Without mom and dad catching on,” added Boissiere. “There are bragging rights, hide where you can, pull it off, who you can do it in front of without getting caught.”
There are even “vape meets” where users show off their vapor pens, which are becoming accessories for teen girls.
“It’s like if you’re pulling out lipstick, you want to look like you match,” stated Candace Garcia, a counselor for students in Santa Clara County. “So with this e-cigarette or vaporizer pen, if it’s hot pink and you have a hot pink purse, it looks cool. So I’ve seen it a lot.”
A high school student in Pennsylvania was suspended after dressing up as a homeless man for a class assignment.
Michael Bodomov, 17, made a convincing homeless man even though his drama class assignment went awry. The class participants at Mount Lebanon High School outside of Pittsburgh were assigned to create a character and be that character for an entire day. Bodomov, who reportedly is considering going to college for theater, decided to create a homeless character. He’s apparently a good actor, because school officials had no idea it was him.
Bodomov dressed in layers of coats, smeared ink on his face, wore fingerless gloves, and had plastic bags for socks. His mother reportedly dropped him off at school early, before the main entrance was open, so he tried to get in the side one. A school official questioned him, and he at first tried to stay in character, but when they refused to let him in, he tried to tell them he was a student. They still didn’t buy it.
"At one point, I think I said, 'I might be a student here,'" he told the AP, and the official apparently responded, "No, you can't be. You look like you're 30 and you haven't showered in 10 days."
"It's not like this entire time I wasn't trying to let them know I was a student," said Bodomov. "It was pretty funny to me."
The police were eventually called, and once it was discovered that the homeless man was in fact Bodomov, he was suspended for insubordination.
Bodomov thinks that the school overreacted, but his mother actually agrees with the suspension, saying that it’s comforting to know the school is so concerned with the safety of the students.
An unidentified teaching assistant at the University of Iowa reportedly e-mailed nude photos of herself to business students, who are taking a pre-calculus math class, on Tuesday night.
"The individual who sent the messages has stated that it was an accident. She regrets her actions," University of Iowa spokesman Tom Moore said in an e-mail. "This incident was inappropriate, and the university will look into it and take appropriate actions under our policies and procedures."
The university isn't identifying the teaching assistant, citing federal privacy laws, however there are no such federal laws that govern the accidental emailing of nude pictures of oneself to college students.
According to TotalFratMove.com, the teaching assistant accidentally e-mailed the nude photos with the text (pictured): "Hi Class, I attach the solutions for number 76 and 78 in this email."
TotalFratMove claims to have copies of the nude images and states: "The images are from a video chat that is quite sexual in nature. It appears that two people are 'cyber-sexing' from different locations using video equipment."
The Iowa City college asked anyone who received the "inappropriate content" to delete the e-mail and not pass it on, but it has been opened and passed on, judging by student responses on Twitter.
On Wednesday, a student tweeted, "A math TA here accidentally emailed naked pics of herself to her students instead of the study guide."
Another student tweeted, "breaking news: An Iowa TA accidentally emailed naked pictures of herself to 80+ students instead of the study guide."
A third student tweeted, "The TA was teaching her 7:30 discussion session this morning trying to act like nothing happened but (was) clearly very rattled. No one said anything about it but it was just extremely awkward."
Michigan State University (MSU) professor William S. Penn reportedly began the school year last Thursday by telling students how “old Republicans” have "raped this country," opposed student aid for college and have engaged in voter suppression in North and South Carolina.
Professor Penn allegedly made some unflattering remarks about Mitt Romney and his wife Ann, by asking students who would want to marry her.
When contacted by the conservative website Campus Reform on Tuesday, Professor Penn would not confirm or deny that it was him in the recording, which was given to Campus Reform by a student who remains anonymous.
In the video (below), Professor Penn allegedly said: “If you go to the Republican convention in Florida, you see all of the old Republicans with the dead skin cells washing off them. They are cheap. They don't want to pay taxes because they have already raped this country and gotten everything out of it they possibly could. They don't want to pay for your tuition because who are you? Well, to me you are somebody.”
Professor Penn reportedly addressed a student who was not happy with his statements: “You can frown if you want. You look like you are frowning. Are you frowning?”
Later in the video, Professor Penn allegedly stated that Republicans are trying suppress voting, which some Republicans have admitted themselves, noted The Daily Beast. According to The Nation, North Carolina recently passed a strict voter suppression law.
“This country still is full of closet racists. What do you think is going on in South Carolina and North Carolina. Voter suppression. Its about getting black people not to vote. Why? Because black people tend to vote Democratic," says a voice, reportedly belonging to Professor Penn.
“Why would would Republicans want to do it? Because Republicans are not a majority in this country anymore. They are a bunch of dead white people. Or dying white people.”
Kent Cassella, an MSU spokesman, stated in an email to Campus Reform: "At MSU it is important the classroom environment is conducive to a free exchange of ideas and is respectful of the opinions of others. MSU is thankful we’ve been made aware of the situation. We will be looking into it."
Sources: Campus Reform, ABC News, Bloomberg News, The Daily Beast, The Nation
Journalist and TV producer David Simon spoke in London last week, calling America's “War on Drugs” a “holocaust in slow motion.” Simon was the creator of the critically acclaimed 2002-2008 crime series The Wire, and wrote the book that served as the basis for the 1993-1999 series Homicide: Life on the Street.
At a debate hosted by British newspaper The Observer, Simon spoke about recent efforts to legalize marijuana, stating such measures would help middle class whites while leaving urban blacks targeted for minor drug offenses.
“I’m against it,” Simon said “The last thing I want to do is rationalize the easiest, the most benign end of this. The whole concept needs to be changed, the debate re-framed.
“I want [the drug war] to fall as one complete edifice. If they manage to let a few white middle-class people off the hook, that’s very dangerous. If they can find a way for white kids in middle-class suburbia to get high without them going to jail, and getting them to think that what they do is a million miles away from black kids taking crack, that is what politicians would do.”
If marijuana is legalized by itself, leaving other recreational drugs illegal, “it’d be another 10 or 40 years of assigning people of color to this dystopia.”
Simon characterized the War on Drugs as being about the disposal of “excess Americans,” who are no longer useful to the labor force.
The 52-year-old author agreed that “drugs are bad," but insisted the War on Drugs “always proceeded along racial lines...,” “not against dangerous substances but against the poor, the excess Americans.”
Simon said he had “no faith in our political leadership to ever address the problem. There is no incentive to walk away from law and order as a political currency.” He called on jurors to refuse to send minor drug offenders to jail, comparing the end of drug prohibition to the end of alcohol prohibition.
Simon worked for the Baltimore Sun City Desk for twelve years. He wrote the books Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, and co-wrote The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood with Ed Burns. The former book was the basis for the NBC series Homicide: Life on the Street, on which Simon served as a writer and producer. Simon adapted the latter book into the HBO mini-series The Corner.
He was executive producer, head writer, and show runner for The Wire; adapted the non-fiction book Generation Kill into an HBO mini-series; and co-created the current HBO series Treme. Simon was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010.