Hi Judy,

I go to a high school in Brooklyn. I am a freshman. I have been asked by three older student to do drugs. I hate the environment and feel really unsafe going to school every day. I want to transfer but they are saying I need to wait until my year is over. I can't stand the thought of going one more day. I am really scared. I can't sleep anymore.


Dear Worried,

Drug use in schools is alarming.  Most schools have a program, and specialists known as SAPIS, to combat it, but that is a long term solution and I think that your particular situation should be remedied immediately.

What you describe is bullying and intimidation. I know it is tough to publicly report the kids involved but here is a way to report confidentially: contact the person who is listed on the Respect for All poster in your school. Respect for All is the city's anti-bullying program. If there is no poster visible at your school, email [email protected] to get the name of your school's representative.

It is important to do that because that will help justify your request for a safety transfer. Complaints of "harassment, intimidation and bullying" are now grounds for a safety transfer to another school, under a proposed change to the Chancellor's Regulation, A101. The school must work with you to put together any needed documentation for a safety transfer -- or any other kind of transfer.

The director of borough enrollment will decide - supposedly within one week of receiving documentation from the school - whether a safety transfer will be granted. In your case, the director for enrollment in Brooklyn (and Staten Island) is Judith Butcher; in the Bronx, it's Margaret Rogers, in Manhattan, Lenny Treretolaand in Queens it is Bonnie Gross.

Finally, you can appeal up the ladder to the central office of enrollment at Tweed at 52 Chambers Street: deputy director of enrollment, Susan Cofield, or the director Rob Sanft.

By the way, in addition to adding bullying as grounds for a safety transfer, there is a proposed change in travel hardship transfers. You may now apply for a travel transfer if it takes you 75 minutes or more to get to school. Previously it was 90 minutes. These are just two of several amendments to the city's regulation on admissions which is up for ratification on December 20 at the Panel for Educatonal Policy public meeting.

Hang in there and good luck.