Investigation of Mississippi teachers allegedly buying drugs from students raises questions

Published 7:09 am Sunday, October 15, 2017

News that a couple of Water Valley teachers are under investigation for purchasing drugs from a student is disturbing.

We should not indict the still-unnamed individuals until this case works through the process, but all indications are that arrests are forthcoming and that at least two teachers in Water Valley schools will face charges for purchasing prescription drugs from students.

If this happened, it’s hard to fathom. But we know from many hard lessons that teachers are human, too.

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The cliché sticks around for a reason since humans have capacity to do things that don’t make sense. Typically, there are underlying issues involved. How else could a teacher do something so irrational?

Everyone that signs up for teaching understands that the penalty for crossing the line with students is severe. No inappropriate relations. No buying drugs. Never. Ever. Never.

But here we are, in the midst of an investigation that some in Water Valley have called shocking, since it involves people and families who are well known and respected.

Time will tell what happened, or not, in Water Valley. But the ongoing investigation by the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department that coincides with a personnel issue in the Water Valley schools has garnered a lot of attention within the community.

Water Valley is small enough that everybody knows everybody, so an investigation like this can’t help but cause pain, questions, and frustrations.

We also can’t help but feel compassion for community teachers, the 99 percent who do the hard work day-in, day-out, leading in the classroom and respecting the vulnerability of students, if not themselves, at all times.

But if just one teacher crosses that line they all feel some level of burden, understanding how important it is for them to maintain respect among students to effectively educate students.

That’s why now may be a good time to let our many good teachers know how much we value their dedication and service. Few jobs are more difficult; few jobs are more important; and few jobs have such a definitive line that cannot be crossed under any circumstances.

Most easily manage the environment, respecting the line, and teaching and mentoring young people. All suffer to some degree when one or two fail, however.

There’s also concern for students. Not just at Water Valley, but young students everywhere. They are victims of over-prescription, unwitting accomplices to a society that has decided it is okay to recklessly prescribe Adderall, a stimulant used to treat ADHD that is otherwise known as speed. Most everyone that seeks a prescription, gets a prescription. It’s that easy.

Even those that probably don’t need it. So, there are plenty of extra pills to go around, and sell.

The drug is highly abused. The drug is highly addictive. And, the drug is highly dangerous.

Yet, our schools are filled with it.

It’s disturbing, frankly.

As for the Water Valley investigation, time will tell who was involved and what happened or did not. But already we know that it has rattled the community and many good teachers who are doing a good job.

David Magee is Publisher of The Oxford Eagle. He can be reached at