What Do Middle-Schoolers Know About Drugs?

What Do Middle-Schoolers Know About Drugs?
Posted by FoM on May 25, 2000 at 09:48:47 PT
By Lori D. Roberts, Staff Writer 
They go something like this: A clip to a sixth-grader is something that holds papers. By seventh grade, it's something that holds marijuana. What a difference a year makes.And ... A roach to a sixth-grader is a bug. By seventh grade, it's marijuana. What a difference a year makes.And ... 
A pipe to a sixth-grader is something water runs through. By seventh grade, it holds marijuana. What a difference a ...Got the drill?The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders of Teen Voices say they've gotten the drill over and over. And truth is, it isn't an altogether true timeline. At least not universally so."Sixth-graders know about it -- and they pretend to do it," said Marla Watson, in sixth grade at Blythewood Middle School.That's despite the fact that "every other commercial you hear is about drugs," said Marla, 12.Fellow sixth-grader, Ashley Drayton, a student at E. L. Wright, agrees with Marla. "You hear about it in sixth, seventh and eighth grade," she said.Alan Butler, an eighth-grader at Summit Parkway Middle School, remembers his first year in middle school a little differently. But that was two years ago -- and just a year can make a difference. Right?"When I was in sixth grade, drugs weren't that big of a deal," he said. "It was stressed so much not to do it, that nobody really cared about it. Nobody wanted to do it."In seventh grade, it's more kids acting like they know what it is just to be cool," said Alan."By eighth grade, kids definitely know the difference." R.J. Catarino is a seventh-grader at E.L. Wright Middle School. He's noticed a difference since last year in how his peers characterize one another."Last year, we didn't even talk about it," said R.J. "This year, every other word and every other person that we refer to has to do with pothead or crackhead." The students said they often find out who's tried what when drug dogs and other "searches" take place at school, or when peers get caught and kicked out of school. They also take liberties to sometimes make stereotypical assumptions based on how students dress, or act."Teachers are saying that talking about drugs or sex is inappropriate at school, but when we walk down the halls we hear it anyway," said Alan. "So there's no point in them preaching."Just talk about what's wrong or right, and that's it." Exposure doesn't mean they've experienced any of it themselves."If hearing about it makes you curious, all you have to do is see a person who actually takes that particular drug or who drinks," said Alan, 14. "You'll never want to do it." Lauren Howard agrees. "But you don't want to hear it 24-7," said Lauren, a Dent Middle School eighth-grader."What parents should know is that we know right from wrong," she said. Lori Roberts covers northeast Columbia and issues affecting young people. Call her at 771-8655 or e-mail: lroberts Published Thursday, May 25, 2000 in The State. CannabisNews Articles On Teen Drug Use:
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Comment #1 posted by steve1 on May 25, 2000 at 16:24:47 PT
I remember
I remember when I was in junior high school, I was terrified when the cops from DARE told me people stick needles in their arm, and that people smoke these white rocks to "feel good". Most children don't know about drugs until they are told about it by these programs. It isn't until high school when all this propaganda gets students interested, especially in the green plant. They smoke the green plant and they think "hey they said this green plant was the same as the other drugs and never to try any of this stuff" and then some try hard drugs. 
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