by Lee Benson
Is weed a problem at McClymonds High School? Does it lead to absenteeism or cutting class?
Apparently less so, this year, so far.
Geometry teacher Elise Delagnes says,” It was a big problem last year and I had many students come to my class high, but this year it has gotten much better.”
In fact, no students have been suspended for being high at McClymonds. “Weed is not a problem at McClymonds,” says Principal Tanisha Hamberlin.
The changes at McClymonds reflect what is going on nationwide. Statistics show that the percentage of students who smoke weed in high school has dropped from a shocking 8.2% in 2002 to 7.3% in 2009.
As teens begin to smoke weed at a younger age, we would like to know the reason why this is happening. Why smoke instead of going to class, getting good grades and going to college? In our interviews with several students at McClymonds, we discovered that many students react to stress by coming to school high.
First of all, most students won’t admit that they smoke. They can’t smoke at school because hallway cameras record comings and goings of students. “This is prison, they have cameras everywhere,” says junior Quadry Wesley.
Most students also say that sports and drugs don’t mix. At McClymonds, most students play at least one sport.
“I don’t smoke weed because I don’t want to let anybody down who is important in my life,” says Miles Mitchell, a junior and a tight end on the football team. “I feel like it is a bad influence on little kids. Another reason why I don’t smoke is because I play for the varsity football team and I am trying to get a scholarship so I can go to college.”
Emoni Fountain, a senior and the starting quarterback agrees. “I don’t smoke weed because I’m an athlete and it makes you have bad lungs, I don’t feel like weed is something that will help me get to where I am trying to be in life. I see people smoking around me all the time and I see the effects of it and I don’t want any part of it.”
In my opinion, students smoke weed for different reasons, to relieve stress, because it’s cool, to fit in.
Those who do smoke say they work as hard as they play. “I smoke weed because it’s fun. I like to chase the high. It’s kind of relaxing and everything is way more funny than it would be when I am sober,” says junior David Smith. “Just because I smoke doesn’t mean that I don’t get my work done, I still have above a 2.0, so I really don’t see a problem with it.
Sophomore Jasmine Richardson agrees. “I smoke sometimes because it is funny when you’re high, also I smoke because I want to and it keeps me occupied.”
Macksmack writers win state high school journalism awards
Miles Mitchell wins 2nd place in environmental reporting for story on McClymonds garden
Two McClymonds students, senior Romanalyn Inocencio and sophomore Miles Mitchell, have won journalism awards from the California Press Women’s Association.
Mitchell won second place in environmental reporting for a story about the vegetable garden at McClymonds, which appeared in macksmack blog on June 11 2012.
Romanalyn Inocencio (second from left at a journalism workshop at the Sacremento Bee last fall) wins 3rd place in two highly-contested categories: news and opinion
Inocencio, a senior, won third place in news for a story on changes (new teachers, restorative justice and added AP classes) at McClymonds that was published in Oaktown Teen Times in January.
She also won third place in opinion for a piece opposing a teen curfew in Oakland.
Posted in Academic success, changes, College, Commentary, community, curfew, Debate, ecology, Education, Environmental Justice, gardens, high school newspaper, journalism, Newspaper Articles, Oakland City Council, opinion, resilience, restorative justice, School News, school spirit, success, West Oakland, writing, Youth
Tagged California Press Women, student journalism