The Substance Policy
I am still grateful that I was part of a community that strives to foster an educational atmosphere through its substance abuse policy, where students learn to be nothing less than themselves and therefore nothing less than responsibly engaged citizens of the world.
Alumnus, Class of 2001
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The Substance Agreement is the cornerstone of Tara’s foundation and was part of the initial vision for the school. From the very beginning, we have maintained an unyielding policy regarding mind-altering substances. Any use of recreational drugs (including alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, and prescription drugs used for recreational purposes) or any activity engaged in for the purpose of creating an altered state of consciousness is a breach of the agreement to be one hundred percent substance-free that every student signs upon entering Tara. In a community as small as ours, giving one’s word is of the highest importance. Breaking one’s word weakens the fabric of the entire school, not just the self. Our students honor their commitments on weekends and vacations year round, not just during school hours.
Specialists often point to peer pressure and boredom as two of the contributing factors to the epidemic of substance abuse. Our efforts to engage the students fully and wholeheartedly in the academic curriculum, the performing arts and travel (among other things) seek to address these factors. Our aim is to nurture and develop the very best in each student through creative work, shared efforts and friendship, and through the challenges of a Waldorf education. We are not willing to try to educate young people if they are using substances that undermine our efforts to foster clear and imaginative thinking, a rich life of feeling, and firmness of will. We trust that any parent who enrolls a student at Tara will concur with our policy and vigorously support our efforts to maintain a substance-free environment for the young people entrusted to us for their education.