Guest Editorial: It’s up to us as students to raise each other up | ParkRecord.com

Guest Editorial: It’s up to us as students to raise each other up

By Carly McAleer, 7th Grader, Ecker Hill Middle School

One month ago, two people who touched many lives in Park City passed away. They died too soon and too young.  The supposed reason as everyone has heard is drugs.  As a twelve-year-old 7th grader at Ecker Hill Middle School, I never believed kids so young could get involved with this type of thing.  It came as a shock to me when I was told Grant had passed and then just 24 hours later told that Ryan had passed.  Drugs have become a reality in our town and some people have yet to figure that out.  I've always looked for the bright side in people, but, I'm not going to find it in everyone.
In fifth grade at Jeremy Ranch Elementary, every student in my class all said the same thing, "I'm never going to do bad things like drugs."  We all believed it at the time and saw each other as good people.  Just two years later, I have friends every day who talk about this.  I remember how it used to be.  As kids, we would see the world as a happy place.  I wish we could go back, but we can't.  We have to live in the present and enjoy what we've got because one wrong move could end it.
Rumors have been flying through school and kids have been threatened by their peers because of these rumors.  About a week ago, my friend told me about another one of our fellow students talking about and using drugs.  My first instinct was not to believe it, but the next day, reality hit me.  This was one of my best friends telling me this and this friend would never lie to me.  The next night, I called that person's family up and encouraged them to take action.  I suggested to the family that this person should report it immediately and get it off of their chest. The next day, my friend reported it.  We ate dinner together and talked about how real all of this had become.  The parent was very happy that I had thought of a solution to the problem and we decided I could write this story.
Your "friends" might lock you out when something like this happens, but they're losing you, you're not losing them.  Only your true friends help you out.  Make sure you have some of those real friends you can lean on.
Parents, I encourage you to talk about real live situations like this to your children.  Tell them what they can do and have them read this article.  Talk to a school counselor, a very close friend of yours, or even the police if you have something you need to say.  Teachers and administrators, it's your job to keep our schools safe, but students, it's also up to us to raise each other up and make each other stronger.  If you find these problems, follow up with the tips you have received and even talk to the school board or principals at your school about this.  We as a community should be celebrating the courageous students who come forward with information like this, but instead, we are dissing them.  This is most disappointing and if we are really committed to changing, we need to stop this right away. I understand that by writing this, I will receive plenty of hate and discouragement, but I need to hold my head high and work through it.  I know Park City can rise up through all of this and become one big heart beating for all of us.

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