Teachers on drug use: ‘Do as I say, not as I did’

Marijuana, cocaine, heroin among drugs Fremont teachers say they used as teens

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More than half of teachers at Fremont High School said they did drugs when they were teens on a survey given by the Green & Gold last month. However, those same teachers say they are very concerned for the education and health of their students who are using them now.

One teacher wrote about her concern on her student’s education.

“Of course, I want students to be successful in life, and I know that drug use greatly hinders that goal,” wrote the teacher. “At the same time, I understand where they’re coming from, as I was in the same position as a kid.”

Another teacher wrote about her concern about her students’ health.

“I’m concerned that students aren’t sober at school,” the teacher wrote. “I only used drugs on the weekends in social situations. I know that the teen brain is still developing, so definitely worry about their learning being impacted.”

In the survey, the teachers were given the option of giving their names or not, but only three of teachers who took the survey gave their names.

Jasmene Miranda, a video production teacher, said she didn’t do drugs as a teen and is very confused why students use drugs.

“I watched my peers abuse drugs, which resulted in jail time and often death. I grew up in the crack era and saw my neighborhood destroyed by the epidemic,” wrote Miranda. “Drug abuse among teens angers me because no one researches the drugs that they are using.”

Miranda suggested students ask several questions: “Do you understand the history of the drug? Do you know how many people are incarcerated on drug possession charges? Are you aware damages to your mental and physical health?”

Finally, Miranda had this message for students who abuse drugs: “We all know that you are on drugs, and you look sick. You will miss out on so many opportunities in life due to drug abuse. “

Teachers who took the survey named marijuana and alcohol the drug that was most used when they were teens but other teachers said they did cocaine and LSD.

Teachers were also asked if they thought drug use affected their learning and 57 percent said it didn’t while 43 percent said it did.

Teachers who answered the survey say they want students to be responsible with what they are doing.

One teacher giving advice to all students wrote, “If teens are going to use any substances, they need to be very careful about the cognitive, psychological, emotional, and legal risks and benefits of using.”

The teachers said that if teens do decide to use drugs “they should use with people whom they trust in a safe familiar environment.”

But that teacher added he believes teens should find other ways to get their needs met, including other “recreational or social activities, psychotherapy or support groups.”

Students are engaging in activities that they aren’t ready to handle and also using drugs that they aren’t supposed to use at the age that they are, the teacher added.

“Students that are teenagers shouldn’t use drugs that aren’t prescribed to them.”