Jelly Nguyen ’23
In any high school environment, immense pressure is inevitable for every student. For a teenager, living in this atmosphere can often be overwhelming. It can be dangerous even – as we learn about new aspects of real-life and adulthood. In a learning stage, we are prone to make mistakes as we constantly attempt to process novel information rapidly thrown at us. The Blue Book exists to protect us from errors that could be detrimental to our future.
For a while now, there has been a debate on whether Mercersburg should move to a two-time violation drug and alcohol policy, contrary to the current required withdrawal approach. Members of the community question whether the current regulations on drug use are still best practices, as the only recent modification to the policy is the Sanctuary Policy established only a couple of years ago. However, the belief that everyone deserves a second chance misleads students when choosing between what is right and what is wrong.
A potential change in the number of strikes in the policy would do more harm than good. Considered from a scientific angle, a teenager’s neurological structure is not capable of handling the biological repercussions of drug use. As many parts of our anatomy are still developing, popular substances such as marijuana and alcohol are hazardous and addictive and easily put the body in jeopardy. The use of substance can put our lives at stake.
But physical health is not the only aspect of student life potentially threatened by substance use. The Mercersburg community prides itself on its supportiveness and connectivity. The introduction of drugs into the student body can cause students to make bad decisions or put themselves into dangerous situations. If the substance use policy gives students a second chance, some Mercersburg students would undoubtedly face a threat to their safety and well-being.
The one-strike policy regarding drugs and alcohol does not just act as a punishment for those who violate the school rules but also as a preventive measure, keeping others from stepping onto the treacherous path. Some actions have more severe consequences than others; mistakes need to be accepted in a healthy and supportive environment, but some do not deserve the opportunity for a redo. Actions have consequences, and the ability to rely on another chance would just shield students from reality.