Filed under Op-Ed

What has school become?

Are students too focused on sex, drugs, and alcohol?

A+high+school+teacher+is+caught+selling+juul+pods+to+students+and+is+fired.
A high school teacher is caught selling juul pods to students and is fired.

A high school teacher is caught selling juul pods to students and is fired.

Ariana Gonzalez

Ariana Gonzalez

A high school teacher is caught selling juul pods to students and is fired.

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School has always been portrayed as a place of learning, but how can students learn when sex, drugs, and alcohol are more important to them than school itself?  Almost every student is affected by these influences, whether they are participating, being peer pressured, or just hearing about it.  School has become a mentally draining place where many teens are developing risky addictions that will only cause deep physiological and emotional damage down the road.

17% of all high school students are doing drugs during the school day.  The most common drugs that high schoolers use are marijuana and amphetamines. The fact that students are even able to purchase these drugs is terrifying.  The students who are buying drugs now could end up selling them in the future.  Statistics show that 33% of high school students drink, and 18% binge drink.  8% of students who drink have driven drunk. These numbers are far too high, considering that no high school student is of age. Alcohol has long lasting effects on the brain, liver, stomach, and other organs.   The average age at which children are losing their virginity is 16.  Studies show that 1 in 4 teens contract a sexually transmitted disease every year.  Sex, drugs, and alcohol are all having a huge effect on high school students.

Alcohol is easily accessible for high schoolers and has caused a huge increase in alcohol consumption.

Although students should not be participating in these activities, there are reasons that students turn to these things.  There is a clear difference between school now and school many years ago.  School used to have strict teachers and administration who would make sure that every student treated them and their peers with respect.  Now, school is a mess.  Many teachers let students have too much freedom and bad behavior is being tolerated much more than before.  I have witnessed multiple cuss at teachers and I have even students deal drugs in the school parking lot.  Students are losing all motivation and turning to things that will only make matters worse. Part of this has to do with the lack of discipline coming from school and from home.  Another problem is the lack of interest in school.  Students are forced to pass classes that they don’t want to take in order to graduate.  These reasons do not create an excuse by any means, but they do create a gap that students try to fill with inappropriate behaviors.

These activities not only affect the participants, but their peers as well.  Every day I come to school, I hear at least three stories about sex, drugs, and alcohol– things that I don’t care about.  There are still students who come to school because they want to learn, but this goal is much more difficult to achieve when the majority of the discussions between a student and their classmates have nothing to do with school or important topics at all.  86% of all teenagers know someone who smokes, drinks, or does drugs during the school day It is unfair to surround children in an environment where adult content is constantly a distraction.

A reevaluation of teen activity is much needed and is important for the growth of high schoolers.  Parents need to gain control of their children and where they are at all times like they did years ago.  Teachers and administration need to know where their students are if they are not in the classroom.  The fact that students are able to do drugs during the school day is completely unacceptable.  School needs to become a place of learning, not an outlet for sex, drugs and alcohol.

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What has school become?