I stopped by my middle school to read a TB test and ended up having a very interesting afternoon with a couple of students. Two girls were in the main office waiting to talk with the principal about some incident, and they asked if the could come in and ask me a couple of questions while they waited. Given that just hanging out with the students is pretty much my favorite thing ever, I welcomed them in and they took a seat. The conversation started out innocently enough, asking me about lice. It quickly turned interesting when they asked me about emphysema, and I turned the questions back on them, asking about smoking habits of their peers. I didn't think they'd actually open up to me, but as soon as I realized they were going to, I had them shut the door and scooped myself a bowl of ice cream. I spent nearly the next two hours talking with two 6th and 7th graders I'd never met before about the drug habits and drama of the school. I felt like I was watching a fascinating reality TV show as I savored my ice cream over their juicy gossip. At 27, I'm far less removed from middle school than some of my fellow nurses in the district, but even I was a bit shocked by some of what they were saying. At one point, I asked how many students were high at school, and the more boisterous girl of the two announced, "You know all those kids walking around here that you think are tired? They're high! All of them!"
I don't believe 100% of 6th graders are stoners, but my afternoon with these girls made me realize just how prevalent it is, at least in that neighborhood. Don't ask me how they're going to get past middle school if they're stoned at school all the time as 12 year olds.