The Phillipian Responds To Hard Drug Use at PA

Last week, the Andover police arrested three Phillips Academy on charges related to drugs?and alcohol. All three are no longer students at Phillips Academy. This event has raised a number of questions – none of which have easy ?answers. We have collected a number of them, posed below. We invite students, parents and faculty to respond. Please email if you are interested. What is the culture of drugs at Andover? Is it prominent, periphery or nonexistent? Are stress and the pace of life ?factors that contribute to the presence of drug use on campus? Does our current disciplinary system, respecting the privacy of students, help or hurt the community? Would students benefit from knowing the details of more disciplinary cases — to learn from others’ mistakes? To what extent do we?take responsibility for one another at Andover? Where are our priorities —are we self-centered and self-focussed most of the time? What obligations do students have to one another? Does the Sanctuary policy encourage students to seek help when we need it, or do students treat it as an easy out, to avoid discipline? Taking into account the inherent lack of privacy at boarding ?school, how well do we really know?our peers? And what responsibility do we take on with that knowledge? The arrests came as a surprise to many of us. Does this suggest that there is a lack of awareness amongst Andover students? The school trusts students a great deal.Is there an even balance between independence and ?structure at PA? Should adults more closely monitor and regulate our residential lives? Or is the responsibility of freedom and independence an important value of our community? Are our priorities mostly personal or do community values carry significant weight as well? Before ?now, has the Phillips Academy administration, faculty and staff done enough to address drug use? Are PACE classes and Wellness Week enough? Are they too much? Is the tone of the speakers and teachers too preachy? How can there be a conversation about drugs at Andover, between students and the administration and the faculty, without preaching or condescending?