HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Unjustified Raids Abuse Students' Rights
Pubdate: Sun, 04 Jul 2004
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Gary Vickers


Re: High school drug searches show respect for students, JUNE 18.

It is difficult to understand how the police action at Immaculata High 
School garners any public support. I am amazed at some readers' lack of 
understanding of our rights and freedoms.

Such hard-earned values are seldom lost at the hand of some invading 
despot, but most frequently to the whims of citizens who deem it 
appropriate to trade security for rights.

This generally starts with confiscating those of our least powerful 
citizens, in this case students.

If we allow police officers to detain children, conduct random interviews 
and search private property without grounds, how can we distinguish this 
behaviour from that of a police state? This is how it starts.

The point is somehow missed because the actions do not happen to people 
like us. Suppose that police officers randomly selected a city block to 
shut down, confined us to our houses for a few hours and searched our 
garages. This would certainly aid police in curtailing neighbourhood crime 
but would surely be wrong.

Such behaviour by police and educational authorities at a high school is 
equally wrong.

We certainly need to control the illegal activities that were the target of 
this incident, but let's not take the easy way out. Let's protect our 
children while teaching them the true meaning of freedom -- it is worth it.

Rights and freedoms are not owned, rather they are rented with the blood of 
our parents and grandparents. This is simply too great a cost to be so 
easily given up in the name of controlling the actions of a minority of 

It particularly galls that education authorities should approve of these 
actions. Should we expect the next generation of adults simply to accept 
incremental losses of freedoms and rights? If so, we sentence our children 
to the losses and hardship necessary to regain the rights some would so 
readily give up.

Gary Vickers,

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