An ethical question
I know your position on whether we should inform parents when their own children are engaging in dangerous behavior. I've got a twist on that situation and I'm not sure how I should proceed.
My daughter is in middle school and will be graduating this year. Recently a boy at the high school gave her some adderal, and I know he's given it to at least one other child at the high school. I did inform the boy's parents, and we made a date to meet WITH the children to discuss what had happened. The parents cancelled and never called to reschedule. Now here comes the twist...first, the child is special ed, these adderal are his by prescription, he should NOT be carrying his own medication at the high school, the policy is that the nurse is to dispense medication. Second, I DO know that he has given some of his adderal to at least one other child in the high school. So I'm wondering whether it's appropriate, or even obligatory, to report these activities to the high school. Lastly, I should add that this child's stepfather is a TEACHER at the high school, so obviously this issue could be hurtful to his career, so the situation is even more complicated.
I'm very concerned about this boy's behavior going unchecked...especially since, after my daughter graduates from the middle school, she'll be attending high school with him for the next two years.
Your input on my dilemma is appreciated!!!
Ethically, you must immediately tell the school what you know. In most states, that obligation would be legal as well, since children are being endangered by this behavior. You might also check your state law to see if you are also obligated to inform your local child protective services.
Many don't realize that stimulants, in the wrong dosage to the wrong kid, can be fatal. Those kids are playing Russian Roulette, and that round could go off tomorrow.
You made a good-faith attempt to have the other child's parents do the right thing, and they apparently have declined. If they can't assume control to protect the lives of these minors, then you must.
I would sit your daughter down first to let her know the what and the why of your actions here, not to give her a vote but to teach her that there are some secrets we simply can't keep, and that this is one of them. Acknowledge that this may cause a lot of issues at school, but that you'd much rather see her dealing with school issues than dealing with a classmate's avoidable funeral. Your girl may yell a lot, but, in the end, she'll understand more.
Dr. Mike Bradley