HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Keep Drug Dogs On Short Leash
Pubdate: Fri, 01 Nov 2002
Source: Chilliwack Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 Chilliwack Times


With the possible introduction of drug-sniffing dogs to the educational 
experience at Surrey schools, one is left to wonder what's next.

Although it's still in the discussion stages, there should be worry amongst 
parents, educators and the general public that we have abandoned a pillar 
of our Canadian criminal justice system of innocent until proven guilty, 
sullied our institutions of learning, and, through this action, will cast 
guilt and shame on all students who attend these institutions.

It is without a doubt, the use of private security firms roaming the halls 
with their drug sniffing canines would produce an air of distrust and 
animosity between educators and the kids under their care, not a productive 
atmosphere in which to foster children.

Although it's a public institution and kids deserve the right to be safe 
from the vagaries of modern life, condoning such a move to bring in the 
dogs is one step down the slippery slope of a police state.

The Surrey board doesn't appear to be drawing the line at high schools 
either, they propose these firms could be at work at the elementary level.

If we were afraid Halloween costumes would scare and offend our children in 
kindergarten through Grade 6, what about the presence of officialdom 
menacingly strutting through their halls.

And with a Canadian public more willing to accept, if not the legalization 
of marijuana, the decriminalization of the drug, this proposed action flies 
in the face of growing public sentiment.

We wonder if there are any statistics collected on kids dealing drugs in 
Surrey schools, and would hazard a guess the number of kids dealing or 
buying on school property is in the minority-a minority that would not 
necessitate such a harsh action.

The Surrey School Board's acceptance of the proposal by the city's 
Drug-Crime Task Force is a precedent that shouldn't be set and a civil 
liberty that shouldn't be trodden upon on the way to a misplaced belief we 
would be making a difference to the war on drugs.
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