I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
A Disturbing Spike in School Drug Infractions
As I look over the backup provided for disciplinary infractions over the last two month period, I see a disturbing spike in drug possession/use on our campuses.
For the last two month period, we are removing 25 students for drug violations. Several of these offenses are for prescription pills, but the lion's share are for Marijuana possession/use.
I do not know what to attribute this rise to--could it be a growing problem outside in our community?
Yes, I'm certain that plays a part.
Could it be the non-stop barrage of media coverage glowingly describing the states that have legalized recreational marijuana? Yes, I think this serves to make marijuana appear to be more benign than some other hard drugs like LSD or Crystal Meth or Flakka.
Could it be the non-stop barrage of media seeking to legalize medical pot in Florida? Yes, I think this contributes to the narrative that pot is no more harmful than Beer or Whisky--even though researchers from Northwestern University recently debunked the myth that Pot is safe--proving that marijuana use by adolescents rewires brain structure--even with infrequent use.
Marijuana is a dangerous hallucinogenic drug, but society wants to sell a different narrative and it is working.
And more students are bringing this drug into our schools which should be setting off all kinds of alarms bells.
I'm going to talk about it, and I'm going to ask if we are still diligently conducting our drug dog sweeps and conducting our randomized drug testing of athletes as the board has approved.
And of course I will never stop advocating for swift and significant punishment for those that bring drugs to school, even as I see these punishments being minimized with greater frequency now than ever before.
It takes a combined, diligent effort to combat this problem.