For the most part, the students at our small, non-traditional high school are good kids. Many of them just got behind in their credits, either due to academic struggles or attendance problems, or some infinite combination of life issues that interfered with their educational goals. Most of them just want to work at their own pace and earn the credits they need to graduate so they can move on to whatever comes next, whether it be the military, technical college, a four-year college, or the work force.
Where two or more teenagers are gathered, however, you have to be wary of drug issues. I think it says that somewhere in the Bible; I'm not sure.
Most of the time our fearful leader chooses to pretend we don't have anything remotely close to that kind of problem, mainly because it requires energy to deal with it. Most of the time if we raise any suspicions, we are met with responses such as, "We can't prove it..... He'll do himself in eventually.... We have to get the cooperation of law enforcement....." Blah blah blah.
Every now and then, however, some degree of action is taken, if only on the surface. Today was one of those days.
We heard an announcement over the PA system that students were to be kept in classrooms and not allowed to leave until further notice. This was somewhat problematic for me, since I wasn't even IN my classroom at the time. I wasn't even in my part of the building. I was helping on a science fair committee.
I made my way to my classroom as quickly as possible, but I really couldn't answer my students' questions. They're savvy enough to know what was going on, but their main question - "How long do we have to stay here?" - I couldn't answer. Of course, nine of the twelve people in my classroom immediately had to pee. As did a teacher down the hall and around the corner.
Just when I had convinced them that the best way to take their minds off the situation was to keep working, an administrator opened the door to my classroom and asked that students remove their jackets, leave them behind, and gather in the lower part of the hall. When they sweep the school with the drug dog, they don't search every classroom. They choose a room or two at random, and then they sweep the parking lot.
My students and I stood at the end of the hall, mostly joking (one of them asked on his way out of the room, "Can you hold something for me?" Ha ha). The time dragged on and on, and I began to get nervous for SOMEONE. Then they summoned me to my classroom.
The dog had alerted on someone's belongings, but no drugs were found.
It had also alerted on something else.
My filing cabinet.
The administrator started going through my filing cabinet, and I was as embarrassed as if someone had come into my house and started going through my closets. Anyone out there who has ever been a teacher knows that you don't throw ANYTHING away. I have projects in my filing cabinets from students who are probably grandparents by now. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but they are from a school at least two jobs ago.
And they found my stash.
Of chocolate. My drug of choice. All the teachers eat lunch in my room, and we keep a stash of chocolate to get us through the rest of the afternoon.
I don't think that's what the dog alerted on, though. They are supposed to be smarter than that.
To be fair, the administrator was not intimating that she suspected I had anything in the filing cabinet that I shouldn't. She was more concerned that someone had slipped something in there without my knowing it.
But we didn't find anything.
I had a double dose of chocolate after lunch.