I think I must have seen watched this show during my pre-teen years in the late 80's, although I didn't get to see much of it. It was shown on PBS, in the evening. As a student of a small private christian school living in a small christian town, the show seemed very gritty and exotic to me. I remember my father disapproved of my watching the show after my parents and I saw the episode where the older brother of one of the students, who had been a star basketball player at Degrassi, came out of the closet, and also because Spike was pregnant. (Years later, when I attended private christian high school a girl who was a grade ahead of me was kicked out for being pregnant.) I remember the student (someone here said his name was Snake) was walking down a sidewalk with his brother when the latter informed him that he'd be going away to live with "his friend" and that they'd "be doing a lot of stuff together". Snake didn't understand, and neither did I, but when he heard this I remember my dad let out a groan of recognition, and in my mind that suddenly gave a sinister element to the news that Snake was about to hear. At the time I was just beginning to sense that I liked other guys, that this made me different, and that maybe this was something I should be ashamed of and keep a secret, (which I did until high school), which is why that episode made a particular impression on me.
Of course like everyone else I also remember Spike, who at the time didn't look like anyone I'd ever even seen before. I also remember the episode with the bulemic girl who wouldn't eat at school, saying she wasn't hungry, but when she got home with her friend, her mom made cookies for them and she started scarfing them down like crazy. And then her friend said something like "god, I KNEW you were hungry", and she suddenly froze, then ran to the bathroom and started barfing in the toilet.