After our first article for the Spotlight series was posted, we felt it was necessary to find out what some of the teachers thought. So, we asked Mr. Kay, Ms. Martin, and Mr. Lehmann to weigh in on the topic.
The consensus among the three was that these numbers were not surprising. Both Kay and Martin said that drug use is something that is always going to happen.
When she was asked why, Martin listed “Age of adolescence, experimentation, self-ownership, testing limits,” as the most common reasons for drug usage in teens. Kay spoke on along similar lines.
When asked for comment, Lehmann said, “Interestingly, those numbers are actually lower than the national average for high school students, so while I am always concerned about drug and alcohol use and abuse at SLA, I think that the work that Ms. Martin does in teaching students about drug and alcohol use and abuse, the work advisors do in ensuring that students feel safe and cared for, and the work SLA students and teachers do in creating authentic, powerful work in the world give students an alternative to drug and alcohol use and abuse in the way they live their lives.”
The national average for illicit drug usage is 27.2% as of 2014, while the average for illicit drug usage at SLA is 25.5%, brought up mostly by the 40% of seniors who have tried drugs.
When Kay was asked about the spike in seniors, he noted that age does play a significant and obvious factor: “The older you are, the more time you have to experiment.”
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