Drug and alcohol use is an issue in many high schools. That’s why, after many unsuccessful attemps to deal with the problem, the Three Rivers School Board in Josephine County has made a decision some see as controversial. They plan to use drug dogs to search student lockers. The searches will be performed by a dog from the local sheriff’s office and could begin as soon as next month.
Teen drug use is a major problem for school administrators — a National Institute on Drug Abuse study shows that by 12th grade more than half of all students have tried drugs. This is why using sniffer dogs during random drug searches at high schools is becoming common practice around the nation. Despite this, it is still a process that some consider controversial. There are claims that this kind of search undermines the rights of students, can be disruptive to teaching, and at times can even be frightening.
The Three Rivers School Board says they plan to do random searches to deter behavior, not to punish.
What do you think about the use of drug dogs in school searches? What else can be done to deal with the problems of drugs on school grounds?
- Dan Huber-Kantola: Superintendent of the Three Rivers School District
- Gil Gilbertson: Sheriff of Josephine County
- David Fidanque: Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon