The school is keeping a tight watch on student substance abuse due to concern that partying and recreational drugs are more of an issue this spring than usual. Principal Wynne Satterwhite believes that it may be because students are now nearing the end of a demanding school year.
“This year’s been really stressful, and … in the spring you have more stress going on,” Satterwhite said. “We’ve pulled in more kids.”
According to Satterwhite, the school’s policy is to meet with students who may be involved in illegal activity even without evidence for disciplinary action. She said if a teacher overhears something or if a parent or student reports concern, the administration will pull the suspected student from class for cautionary questioning.
“Obviously, safety is our number one priority,” Satterwhite said.
In March, the school announced that loitering in the parking lot would no longer be allowed. According to Satterwhite, this was a result of vandalism to cars as well as teachers’ reports that students were coming to class late or leaving for extended periods of time in the middle of class. Since the school does not possess the resources to patrol the parking lot for illegal activity, Satterwhite said the administration chose to enforce the rule keeping the area off-limits.
“If we have to limit access to somewhere, that seems like the easiest place,” Satterwhite said.
Concerned about drugs and alcohol, the administration did not permit students to take water bottles into the Sadie Hawkins dance on Friday, March 27. Students noticed that the school kept a particularly close watch on students that evening.
“At the Sadie’s dance [security] seemed a little tighter—more administration,” sophomore Ali Nesmith said.
Satterwhite noted that spring always brings more alcohol and drug use because students have “more to lose” in the fall. However, the problem seems to have been more noticeable this year.