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Andy’s a bad game

As I already told you I would share a story of an experience, I had with a student to illustrate the prescription drug abuse problem amongst children. I have, of course, changed this student’s name and a few details to protect his identity. I would like to point out that this story is not unique, and I have seen variations of what happened with this student occur with a growing number of children over the years.

My student, Andy, was a junior in my Spanish 3 class. He was also on the football team and seeking an athletic scholarship for college. He wasn’t particularly gifted at Spanish, but he worked hard to keep his grades up. The football team has a strict rule about players keeping a high GPA, and football was everything to Andy.

As a teacher, I attended several games as a chaperone and spectator. I love the sense of community and comradery at a school sporting event. It was at one such game that Andy received an injury that changed the course of his life.

Andy was tackled and fell to the ground, hard. I was in the bleachers near to where he fell and heard the sickening crack of bones and saw the unnatural way his leg twisted when he hit the ground. An ambulance was called, and Andy left on a stretcher.

He had a broken leg and some other damage to his knee, according to the email from his mother I received to excuse him from class. He needed lots of bed rest to recover and was on prescription medication that interfered with his ability to do schoolwork.

When Andy returned to class about a week later, I noticed a difference in his demeanor right away. Andy had always been popular, and very talkative and lively in class. This new Andy with a cast on his leg was very mild-mannered, almost sedate. He used to be very attentive and hard-working, but now he was forgetting to turn in assignments and sleeping in class.

I chalked it up to his injury and temporarily being off the team, but I had seen this kind of behavior before in other students and was a little worried. I kept a close eye on him to see what would happen.

Keep reading to find out what happened to Andy.