Give Help.

Just because someone needs help, that doesn’t mean that he or she will seek it. Last Tuesday’s arrest of three Phillips Academy students on charges of drug and alcohol possession was heartbreaking and sobering to us as a community. But it has also awakened us as a school. If you know that a friend is involved with drugs or alcohol, accept some responsibility for that person. Talk to him or her. These conversations between students, while often difficult, should happen before the fact, not as a consequence of unnecessary hardship. For Phillips Academy, this is a lesson learned too late. We are talking now. The Phillipian appreciates the administration’s honesty with the students in the handling of this situation. Their open discussion with the student body is admirable, an example of an institution placing a higher purpose – care for its students – above concern for its reputation. Still, students have faced disciplinary action for substance use before, so we regret that this is the first time that the issue received the attention it so fully deserves. But the problem of not addressing the use of drugs on campus does not belong to the administration alone. We, as students, have a responsibility as well. If you have friends who are involved with drugs, don’t wait to talk about it. Now is the time for those conversations. Don’t wait until your friends are in the hospital, in jail, or worse.