Leave drugs at home

Chronicle Staff

Don’t bring drugs to school.
Forget the Honor Code; forget criminal law. When you enter 3700 Coldwater Canyon with drugs, whether they’re in your bloodstream or your backpack, you violate the sanctity of our school.
Forget the administration; forget the parents. We students want to be able to come every day to a place where we feel safe. We want a place where we can learn and play away from illegal substances or those under the influence of them.
Forget your own reputation; forget the personal embarrassment. When rumors swirl that someone has used drugs on campus, it looks bad for our entire student population.
We want the reputation of Harvard-Westlake students to those in the outside world to reflect our hard work, academic prowess and broad interests rather than the misguided actions of a few students.
Don’t bring drugs to school.
It comes down to one idea: we have a responsibility to respect this place.  Harvard-Westlake has given us all a lot — an education, friends, and most importantly, a second home. It’s up to us as students to make sure that we keep our home clean, a safe haven that will be there for us every day.  But we violate that sanctuary if we bring drugs to school or come to school high.
Our safe haven becomes a place where classmates disappear from time to time, a place where the rumor mill reigns, a place where we just don’t feel comfortable. Our home becomes a house, our school just another institution of learning. Last week’s rumors only highlighted drug use on campus. It’s been here, it is here and even if it doesn’t happen often, that it happens at all is disrespectful to both our fellow students and our school.
What you do outside of school is not our business. Statistics always show that a great portion of high school students will try drugs by the time they graduate. But those statistics turn into a disrespect for fellow students and for the school when that drug use occurs on campus. It’s fine to experiment, but not to do it here. It’s one thing to smoke, snort or sell at home, on the weekends or at a party. When it happens away from school, our safe haven is preserved.
But when students are rumored to smoke marijuana on campus or sell hard drugs at school, it becomes the story of the week. It’s all anyone can talk about. It becomes part of our daily lives, and we’re all affected. And it’s not just us talking. Prospective families considering applying here and colleges to which we are all prospective applicants hear about possible drug incidents and judge us. Colleges know that Harvard-Westlake students are well-rounded and academically capable.
They’ll be far less impressed with us, though, when the word gets out that we are skilled with a pipe as well.
Maybe more rumor than truth circulated last week, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and those fires don’t belong on campus.