Stoned and out
I was quite used to dealing with smoking. Every school has its batch of smokers. Kids like to feel rebellious. The more dangerous and disdained the more they are attracted. I wasn’t used to the level of dope smoking.
These two lads had gone behind the science block to share a spliff at break-time. It must have been quite a large jay because they came in slightly worse for wear. They staggered past me, attempting to look completely normal, which is extremely hard when you cannot even walk because your nervous system is not interacting with your muscles, and found their way to their seat. Having sat down their body and mind completely gave in and they slumped forward on to the bench, head on arms, and were, to all intents and purposes, comatose. I walked over and tried to talk to them but I could not rouse them. They were so out of it they were in another star system.
Now in England I would have known exactly what to do, it would have been the students’ welfare as number one, but in America I was unfamiliar with the procedure. So I quickly sloped off into the next classroom to ask what I should do. The guy there was ostensibly the Head of Science.
I told him what had happened.
‘Are they causing any trouble?’ He asked.
‘No,’ I replied. ‘They are unconscious.’
‘Ok,’ he said. ‘Leave them then.’
‘But shouldn’t I notify the office and get them checked over? Isn’t there somewhere, a sickroom, where they could recover?’
‘No, we don’t have anything like that,’ he replied. ‘If they are not causing any trouble let them sleep it off.’
I must have looked a bit unhappy with the suggestion. Back in England we would have put them in the sickroom, contacted parents and introduced counselling. We would have tried to have alerted the students and parents to the educational reality of getting stoned in school time. It might even have worked. We wouldn’t have simply done nothing.
‘Look,’ he said. ‘Be thankful. They are volunteering.’
I was quizzical.
‘Someone has to clean toilets, work in sewers and do all the shit stuff that you and me don’t want to do,’ he explained. ‘Be grateful that they are volunteering.’