Tobacco shop opening near local elementary school outrages parents

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ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. —

Parents in one local school district say they’re outraged and willing to fight to stop a tobacco shop from opening near an elementary school.

Channel 11’s Renee Kaminski reported that Glass Gone Wild is slated to open up across the street from J W Burkett Elementary in the Montour School District.

According to the company’s Facebook page, Glass Gone Wild is “committed to bringing our customers a wide variety of high end smoking products and accessories.”  

But members of Montour’s Parent-teacher association said the business should not be located so close to a school.

“It’s a retail shop that provides paraphernalia for use with tobacco and other illegal drugs. So that’s a big concern for us about clientele that will frequent the store,” Lisa Smarra said.

In a letter written to the Robinson Township manager, commissioners and several other political leaders, the Montour PTA wrote, “This is a concern to parents and teachers in the district. We are concerned that this business will bring people of questionable character to the area to make purchases from this 'head shop.' It is frightening to think who we are inviting to congregate near our schools and near the parks where our children play, not to mention the exposure to advertising of smoking material.”

The letter went on to say, “We just don’t understand   how it can be legal to put a retail store like that so close to an elementary school. Were district officials   notified (as neighbors) concerning the opening of this shop? Were any public hearings advertised concerning this retailer’s plans? We would like to discuss  this  matter and what efforts we can undertake to prevent the opening of this kind of retail store just yards from our elementary school.”

“You can see the building from the windows in the school. It’s absolutely too close,” Smarra said.

The owner of the shop, who owns another location in Cranberry Township, said he does not operate a “head shop” and the primary focus of his business is electronic cigarettes. 

Kaminski reported that the store’s owner has obtained the proper permits to open along Steubenville Pike.

“Rest assured, I will not sell to minors. You must be 18 to even get into the store. We are an elite glass shop, not a head shop,” the owner said via telephone.