The lighter clicks open and the bright flame lights the end of the cigarette. Smoke rises as it is passed from person to person around the bathroom. Tommy walks in and sees the group smoking and turns to walk away. When the boy holding the cigarette asks if he wants a drag, Tommy turns and says no. The other boys tell him that if he walks away, then he is a loser. Tommy could easily turn away from the boys and tell an administrator, but he wants to be cool so he takes the cigarette and begins to smoke. Peer pressure to smoke, however, will get Tommy into trouble rather than making him look cool. As the smoke fills the restroom and floats into the hall, a teacher notices and walks in on the boys. Instead of worrying, the boys assume that they will be let off with a warning. The school handbook, however, includes a zero tolerance policy. Tommy and all of the other boys have been suspended.
Drugs in school are not only seen in the theoretical example of Tommy. At eighteen years old, Renee is the top of her class. As a star athlete, Renee must constantly train to run faster for each meet. A girl on her team is getting thinner and faster, so Renee asks her secret. The girl hands her a bottle of steroids saying that it is not cheating, only “enhancing.” Renee refuses the steroids immediately. A week later, the girl is faster than Renee. This causes Renee to take more and more steroids when she cannot catch up. During a meet, Renee collapses because of the overuse of steroids. She is banned from track for steroid use and falls behind in her classes without the motivation of keeping her grades up to be eligible.
Both hypothetical examples of Tommy and Renee show what drugs can do to students. Tommy was suspended for allowing himself to be subject to peer pressure. Renee was banned from her favorite activity and fell from top of her class when jealously caused her to use steroids. More and more teenagers fall victim to peer pressure every day. Because of the rising use of drugs in school, many schools around the country are finding ways to expel drugs from class. A recent article focusing on drug abuse among teenagers stated that giving in to peer pressure may be wired into our brains. The piece explains that adolescents train themselves to copy those around them because the brain uses imitation to learn new information. “Your brain is thinking, ‘This is what my group does, and this is what I need to do to fit in,’” says Dr. Jay Giedd (“Day”). Undoubtedly, schools will continue to fight against drugs until they fade as just another trend. Drugs can cause several problems due to their existing ban in the school system today, but practical solutions can combat the lingering evils.
A plausible way to reduce the use of drugs in school is to search each student and their cars and lockers regularly and when drugs are suspected. When questioned on the probability of this action, David Hixenbaugh, former Assistant...