Should drug dogs be used in our kids’ Maryland schools?

Maybe times have changed, but to many, the idea of dogs being used in children’s schools brings to mind a startling image. Some schools in Maryland already utilize the canines as a way to identify students in possession of marijuana and other illegal drugs in their lockers.

Another county is considering the so-called deterring measure, and the idea has sparked debate among school board and community members in Calvert County. At the center of the discussion is how bringing in the drug dogs would make school kids feel and whether the dogs are even necessary in the schools.

One opponent stated at a recent school board meeting that he had contacted several schools in the state that rely on the drug-sniffing dogs. He said that the schools told him that the dogs hadn’t uncovered a lot of drugs in the lockers. Therefore, he wonders, is there even a problem to warrant the use of the dogs in the first place?

A supporter of using the drug dogs suggests that perhaps the dogs have found no drugs because the system is an effective drug crime deterrent among the schools’ students. Maybe students have stopped bringing substances to school because they were afraid the dogs would catch them.

Or, as another critic suggests, the students wouldn’t keep their drugs in their lockers. Instead, they might carry them on their bodies. The drug dogs would not be allowed to have direct contact with the students, meaning that if combating drug use is a goal of the measure, the dogs would be basically useless. That’s an expensive and intrusive uselessness, according to one opponent.

What do you think about the use of drug dogs in our teens’ schools? How would it have made you feel as a student? Would you feel that rights were being violated or money was being wasted if the dogs were used in your child’s school?

Source “Schools consider drug dog sweeps,” 11 Feb. 2011

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