Ninth graders required to attend drug meeting

With the transition from the middle school to the high school, the start of freshman year can be intimidating, and the mandatory meeting on the consequences of doing drugs only adds to this pressure. The meeting states the school’s response and the legal penalties of drug use at Blake and as a teenager. While it is good for the school to address these issues, is this meeting necessary and is ninth grade the appropriate year?  Christopher Hobart ’18 said, “It seemed a little too long, and kind of repeated itself after a while.” Chase Johnson ’18 adds that “It was definitely redundant, and wasn’t really anything new.” Many people in the ninth grade feel that this meeting, while it speaks about an important topic, just warned them about consequences they already know.

However, not all ninth graders felt it was useless. “I thought it was a pretty helpful meeting, I just wish it was a little shorter,” remarked Thomas Washington ‘18. Not only did these freshmen note that the meeting was too long, but there was another part of the meeting that drew complaints. “[The meeting] was set at a strange time,” said Sarah Chute ’18. “It was at seven PM on a weeknight, which really conflicted with homework.”

What would the 9th graders change? Hobart suggests to “make it a little shorter and add more statistics to the conversation, and less discussion.” Chute also wishes it was “shorter and right after school or during TASC.” Making it shorter, more to the point, and at a better time is the general ninth grade consensus on what to do for next year. However, despite these faults, the ninth graders still felt the meeting should be kept. “They should keep it for next year. It’s a good idea that just needs some changes,” said Washington. It would even be beneficial to introduce this topic to ninth graders, but then have another meeting for the sophomores to reestablish and remind older grades of the rules, as topics relating to drug and alcohol use are more relevant for upperclassmen.