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    Posted July 13, 2014 by
    Johns Creek, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Student voices in journalism

    My school is on drugs...and no one cares

    This year I graduated from River Trail Middle School. About 50% of that school take drugs (mostly in 8th grade). One would assume that River Trail is located in the inner-city or a very poor area. River Trail Middle School is located in Johns Creek, the richest town in Georgia. The kids at River Trail do not take drugs such as Crack or Heroin. Most of my peers take like Ritalin or Adderal. To understand why this happens you must understand River Trail, Johns Creek and Fulton County. River Trail is 80% international kids, 75% come from Asia or India. River Trail is the best public middle school in the state and Northview (the high school in that district) is the best high school in the state. 65% of Northview graduates with a 4.0 GPA or better. Most of the parents in these schools are known as 'Tiger Moms.' Fulton County is divided into two parts, North and South, divided by Atlanta.South Fulton is the 'hood and North Fulton is rich and 'perfect' and the North Fulton students are expected to follow the example. The environment is a pressure cooker.
    At most schools where Ritalin and Adderal is a problem students use them to party and get high. Not at Fulton County schools. Students use and sell them to study. ADD/ADHD drugs act as a way to focus and because kids know this they get the drugs. We all hear the drug deals, mostly in the bathroom, but we have ignored them. The teachers have used a 'Don't ask, Don't tell' policy. The kids who do report it are bullied and because teachers don't want test grades to drop, they don't do anything about the bullying and if the teachers get a report from a student they usually ignore it.
    This year we had drug dogs come for a routine school check. The dogs would sniff the lockers and if they smelled drugs they would alert the handlers. The day the dogs were coming was announced on the morning announcements every day for a week. No drugs were found. Most people have heard about the scandal in Atlanta when teachers changed the answers to students CRCT answers (CRCT is the Georgia end of year standardized assessment) but people don’t know about the drugs that the students use to pass tests like that.
    This year one of the biggest dealers in the school was suspended. The whole 8th grade held its breath. He was suspended for taking Advil to school after he got his braces on. The administration searched his locker as per policy. No one knows if he actually had the pot and Ritalin that he sells in his locker but its assumed. He was still only suspended for the Advil.
    I have never bought or sold ADD/ADHD drugs, but I know they sell from 5-35 dollars a pill. It costs more as exams come closer. A lot of the kids who are dealers fake ADD symptoms (or ADHD but thats harder) to get a prescription or they will use their siblings unused or expired pills. In health class we don't learn about cocaine or LSD, we learn about Ritalin and Adderal. We all know the side effects and the danger. Most kids who take the pills hate the side effects and are in no way addicted. They know what they are doing to their bodies.
    This isn't to say we don't have drugs at our school. Hooka, vaporizers and pot are relatively common. But the teachers are doing everything to stop this. River Trail is not alone in ADD/ADHD drugs being used to study, but nothing is being done to stop it.
    This pegs the question why would kids take drugs that they hate and know are ruining their bodies? Are kids put under too much pressure? Why would the adults allow this to continue? Why do the teachers care so much about test scores? Why would a kid be suspended for having Advil but not for Adderal? What is so wrong with our society that kids would rather face increased heart rate, higher risk of stroke, risk of anorexia and even death than face a D in a class? River Trail is not the only school with this problem, but I am the only one thats talking. Why? Why is this a problem? And why does everyone accept it?
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