Anytown High School
Dear Principal Baggins,
First and foremost I would like to say that I sympathize with your situation. It is a challenging one on a good day! On one hand, you have a dedicated, hard-working, deserving individual that has made a mistake that may affect all of the strenuous efforts she has put forth throughout her school years. Albeit only one mistake, it is a considerable one. On the other hand, you have another student equally dedicated and hard working that feels jilted out of the ceremonial recognition that he obviously feels he deserves. I am more than willing to give you my opinion on the matter ethically, but I feel it’s my responsibility to also advise you on the legalities of the situation as well. You’ve stated that the school handbook prohibits use of “illegal drugs.” Although Ritalin in not considered an “illegal street drug,” any prescription drug taken by or given out by someone whom is not the prescribed recipient constitutes an “illegal” action. Period, end of story. There is no gray area on whether it is illegal or not when it comes to the written law. Whether authorities would actually pursue the matter or not is something entirely different. I feel it would be safe to say that you don’t need to report or take legal action against her. The rest of the facts really are not as black and white. The suggestion of “cheating” in my opinion is really not one of such that I agree with. If we were talking about a sport and the drug enhanced the performance, that would be one thing but we are not. We are basically talking about someone who was overworked and overtired and used a stimulant to keep herself awake and focused. She still did the work, and was still prepared. This stimulant didn’t increase her ability to memorize or comprehend. Therefore, I contend that she did not cheat. The mere fact that Samantha admitted to taking the Ritalin, in my opinion speaks volumes with...