Pubdate: Mon, 13 Dec 2010
Source: Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH)
Copyright: 2010 Geo. J. Foster Co.
Author: Aimee Lockhardt
Bookmark: (Students - United States)
Bookmark: (Drug Dogs)


ROCHESTER -- Drug dog services were brought to Spaulding High School
for the first time this school year in early December, Superintendent
Mike Hopkins told the School Board Thursday.

A routine locker and classroom search was conducted, and Hopkins
explained the district has been doing drug searches for around six
years now and it serves as a reminder to students of the "no drug"

At Thursday's School Board meeting, resident Michelle Paradiso
expressed displeasure with this action, saying she was upset to hear
her son and his classmates were removed from their classroom so the
police and dogs could search their belongings.

"Our children are treated like they're guilty," she said. "Just
because it's something done before doesn't make it right or lawful."

Paradiso argued that she felt her son's and his classmates' rights
were being violated.

"Nowhere does it state that an individual's rights or school's doesn't
count," she said. "Our children are not wards of the state. Your job
is to educate them."

But Hopkins explained the searches were constitutional and legal and
were not a search of property.

"When you walk into any public area, anyone can check (your
belongings)," he said

During a routine search, an administrator will enter a classroom and
ask the students to line up in the hall outside the classroom leaving
their belongings behind. The police and dogs will then go through the
line of students and into the classroom sniffing around. No bags or
lockers are opened and no students are searched unless there are signs
of drugs.

"We want to find and stop drug use as soon as possible," he

If drugs are found, Hopkins said it becomes an administrative issue
and that no police have ever been involved.

The next day, students from Spaulding voiced their agreement with

"It's not private property," Senior Derek Roberson, 17, said. "It's a
public school system. They have every right to ask us not to bring
drugs and to do a search."

Senior Jacob Letourneau, 18, agreed.

"They're not even going into our bags unless they smell something," he

Letourneau said he feels the searches are useful to seek out any
students in the area doing drugs.

The boys did say that the searches, which are supposed to be random,
should be kept more guarded. They said many students could find ways
to hide their drugs because they learn when the searches are happening.

Sophomore Leo Durocher, 15, said he had no problem at all with the
searches and suggested: "The kids who are worried about it are
probably the kids with the drugs."  
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake