My coworker used drugs with a student. What should I do about it?
March 13, 2012 12:56 PM Subscribe
Should I confront, report, or ask a fellow employee at an educational institution about his alleged relationship/illegal activities with a student?
I am an employee at a community college. I have an acquaintance here, who I work with regularly though he is in a different department. Let's call him Frank. He is in his late 20s or early 30s.
Frank and I have played on an intramural sports team through the college together, and have made plans for social activities in the near future.
However, I just learned some disturbing information about Frank.
I work with another staff member who is also a student. She recounted what is essentially a rumor (she heard from a friend, who heard directly from the person involved) about Frank.
The original source, let's call her Leah, is an 18-year-old student. According to her, Frank invited her over to his home to engage in recreational drug use. Supposedly, they smoked "chronic" together. I am unclear on whether the definition in this case is "extremely good marijuana" or "marijuana laced with cocaine" (I know it can mean both). In any case, apparently they were both extremely affected by this drug, and Frank allowed Leah to drive herself home, which was the detail that enraged my coworker the most, for some reason.
I have checked our college policies and there is nothing to prohibit a staff member from having romantic relations with a student. However, my personal opinion is that this is rarely a good idea. There is also nothing about drug use off campus - our drug policy only prohibits the use of drugs (including alcohol and cigarettes) on campus, as well as the selling and distribution of these drugs, again, on campus. There is also nothing, legally, to keep two people of these ages apart, and generally I try to keep an open mind about age differences, but 18 is very young. In conclusion, there are several components to this rumor, and all of them together are pretty disturbing, but none of them are in direct violation of any college policy, or any law APART from the illegality of these substances.
Given that I don't know Frank very well, though we engage in casual conversation almost every day, I am trying to decide whether I should (1) cancel our future plans, (2) ask him directly about the incident (this seems like an awful idea to me!) and/or (3) report the rumor to his supervisor or to the president. I could obviously do this anonymously if I felt the need.
I am very tempted to do (1), simply because I no longer feel comfortable around Frank, so I do not want him in my home or as my friend if there is any truth in the rumor. And yes, I do know to take information filtered through the student grapevine with a grain of salt. But given that the rumor is not improbable, and has a definite point of origin, what course of action (on my part) would be best for the college, our students, and Frank (who on the whole has never struck me as a bad person, though maybe one with low self-esteem and perhaps limited intelligence)?
I would appreciate any comments or suggestions.