Drug Culture at Lake Travis

Beckett Larcher, Reporter

The first time I came to Lake Travis High School one of the most distinguishing factors were the cringy stock-photo “60% of LT students in a survey said they would not drink at a party” posters. While to the outsider, visiting student or the board member who visits once a year, these posters may seem like what Lake Travis is like, but my time here has disproven the posters to be a dystopian world compared to reality. Although there is some credit to be given to the administration for their efforts to discourage drug use both on and off campus, one can easily see that these methods don’t work and show the administration’s partial disconnect with its students, and this year is no exception.

Almost every day at school I see students partaking in some form of substance, mostly in the bathrooms, and it seems to me that I am not alone. I have heard of a freshman’s parent seeing a drug deal in the parking lot and then the next week the freshman being taken out of school. And the stories don’t stop there, the stories of kids getting high at school on a dare or just for fun are constantly passed around campus. I think it is inevitable for some high schoolers to partake in some form of substance abuse, but the question remains, what is the administration doing to decrease both 1) The use of illegal substances on school campus and 2) To try to decrease the substance abuse culture in the school.

If we look at the current administration’s remedies, one can easily see that these are anywhere from achieving their desired goals. Leader for Life. One of the best examples of the administration’s attempt at solving the problem is Leader for Life. With my conversations with students about it, it has seem that it has become more of an even exemption rather than exterminating the drug problem at Lake Travis. It seems that the students have seen it is as an academic strategy tool that even I have and continually use than a tool to solve the problem. Their big issue with LFL is it doesn’t test the students who participate in substance abuse, it is simple logic that kids who drink would simply not sign up to not have their parents called. And even if students who do participate in substance abuse do sign up, students know it’s a low risk issue of being tested. For example, I have been signed up for 2 years and have not been tested once.

So we are left with the question: what can the administration do? Although I do not think it is simple, I think the administration needs to focus on a culture change, and I am not talking about putting posters everywhere. It seems to me that students who partake in the substance abuse do it as a dare or something to be ‘edgy’, a stray away from their suburban life. If the school district could figure out a way for students to be involved in more extracurricular programs, rather than being excluded from programs and support an inclusive environment, that would be a great step in solving this issue. It will not be easy, but until something changes the drug culture on campus will continue to grow and invade campus life.