RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Marijuana and Sudbury

From: Joe Jackson <shoeless_at_jazztbone.com>
Date: Fri Aug 22 19:52:01 2003

> > But there is nothing to
> > prevent anyone in the whole world from doing something if
> it is truly
> > in secret, so I guess I don't understand the question.
>
> You make a good point. But what about a grey area? For instance,
> supposed someone comes to school *appearing* to be stoned. Is he/she
> then required to take a drug test to see if he really *is* stoned?

OK, now this is a very good question.

This gray area of a student showing up apparently high has in fact
occured at Fairhaven. It should be no suprise; getting high is
something that many kids do. I believe it is a normal yet harmful kid
behavior; I do not think it should be accepted *or* stigmatized.

No, nobody at school is going to require that the students take a drug
test if there is suspicion that someone is high. There is always the
possibility that a reckless situation arises wherein the student poses a
danger to themselves or to others in the school, which may or may not
arise from drug or alcohol use, but historically our school does not
take steps based on the suspicion of drug use but on the behavior per
se.

The other side of the question is, how does sudbury present an
environment where students are in the best position to learn that drugs
and alcohol can be at worst really harmful and at best fun yet somewhat
harmful?

I believe that people must identify the negative consequences of drug
and alcohol abuse on their own. Nobody else can do it for them. This
is true across the entire spectrum of drug/alcohol use/abuse/addiction.

Given this, it is my experience that a living environment with strong
role models that have experience with aspects of drug and alcohol abuse,
that are clean & sober, and that can freely relate their experiences to
students are an absolutely vital element in giving the student an
opportunity to learn what drug and alcohol present, as well as the
ultimate consequences of such use.

Several (if not all) of our staff have had either first or second-hand
experience with drugs and/or alcohol and are open and forthcoming with
relating their experiences with students. The experiences are divers,
from first-hand recovering drug/alcohol addiciction to adult children of
alcoholics/users.
I believe having such a staff resource rich in this experience, and
freely communicating with students, is the absolute best we can do for
the students.

But in answer to what I think the essential kernel of your question,
again, if a student drinks or uses drugs either off campus (or,
unlikely, secretly on campus) there is likely not going to be a JC
conviction.

I am sure that Fairhaven has experienced students smoking weed on campus
unbenownst to staff (Fairhaven has a 12- acre campus, such activities
are possible when the will to engage in them is there).

The one time that it became public the students turned themselves in.
If there are any other times I do not know about them.

Good question, Ardishir. The ultimate answer to it is deeply
intertwined with the culture of the school and hard to characterize in
the macro.
Received on Fri Aug 22 2003 - 19:51:59 EDT

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