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Board agrees in principle to bringing drug dogs onto high school campuses

Original post made on Jan 11, 2012

If comments from school board members are any indication, the board will likely approve using drug-sniffing dogs on all three Pleasanton high school campuses.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 7:11 AM

Comments (77)

Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 8:31 am

I promise I will do whatever I can to bring a legal challenge to this policy should drug sniffing dogs be used at our schools.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 8:38 am

It will not solve the drug problem but will result in costly legal fees.

No student is dumb enough to leave dogs in his/her car knowing that the dogs can be sniffing in the parking lot at any time. No, if a student wants to bring drugs to school, he/she will still do so, just won't leave the drugs in the car (but the dogs might still smell residual odors in the car even if drugs are no longer present, and then what?)

Remember: only freshman and sophomore students are required to take PE. Juniors and seniors do not take PE and therefore do not leave their backpacks in the gym lockers - their backpacks are with them at all times and are off limits for sniffing/searching

Dogs are not the solution to the drug problem. Those who think the dogs will solve anything are obviously not thinking clearly.


Posted by Kay, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 11, 2012 at 8:40 am

Patriot, I am with you in your efforts to stop our slide down this slippery slope.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 8:40 am

Should have read:

"No student is dumb enough to leave DRUGS in his/her car knowing that the dogs can be sniffing in the parking lot at any time"


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 11, 2012 at 8:48 am

It couldn't hurt to organize parents and community members to contact board members--all of them--to voice your opposition, or support, of this plan. Here is their contact info: Web Link


Posted by Karen, a resident of Val Vista
on Jan 11, 2012 at 8:49 am

Well I for one fully support any measure that is aimed at protecting our kids from the dangers of drugs and/or alcohol. The fact that the stats are increasing so rapidly should be alarming to us all. And you're right, there will definately be the drug savvy kids that are able to avoid detection from the dogs but this will definately help keep the good kids good, providing just enough deterent for them. My daughter & her friends have been blown away by how much drug activity they are seeing these days at FHS. I think we should strongly support our schools & administration in this fight. It takes a village.


Posted by Clean & Sober, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 8:55 am

Maybe they shouldn't be doing drugs in the first place and then they won't have to worry about getting caught.


Posted by Ken Shaw, a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2012 at 8:56 am

This is very sad. Our generation does not allow children to be children anymore. To mess up, to find out what is good and bad. "WE" have figured it out, right? It is a SICK idea to have your children be constantly surrounded by police dogs. LET THEM MESS UP. LET THEM FIND OUT, LIKE YOU ALL DID, ABOUT LIFE! Was you life so bad, people who actually want to do this to the students of Pleasanton? Are you really that bad off? What, did you find out that your kids may not listen to you????? LIKE YOU DIDN'T LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS???? This is sick. Might as well have every student pee in a bottle. Sure. How about this: Have the police GO TO THE HOMES OF ALL PARENTS OF STUDENTS AND HAVE THEM SNIFF FOR DRUGS. Would you like that? Oh, suddenly the cops are busting you and taking your stash. But you are an adult. Sure you are. Welcome to the actual World of TRUE REPRESSION. Why don't you parents in Pleasanton actually do some PARENTING instead of treating your children like criminals???


Posted by MAT, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 11, 2012 at 8:58 am

I agree with Karen. My daughter also discusses with me how many drugs are at FHS. (And how many kids have parents who smoke and grow illegal substances.)

Regarding Resident's 'No student is dumb enough' comment. I'm laughing..... who said teenagers are smart? They might be book smart but often times they can lack basic common sense or suffer from the "It won't happen to me' syndrome.

Have a good day!


Posted by what to do, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 11, 2012 at 9:01 am

Patriot - What do you propose then to get the drugs out of the schools? Or should we just let the upward trend continue unchecked?

As to how smart high school students are... there will be drugs found in vehicles and in lockers (even if they posted the dates the dogs are coming).

Drugs use doesn't make you act smart, thankfully.


Posted by Been There, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 9:11 am

My initial reaction to this issue was to oppose it but I was surprised at the reaction of my kids, now in their 20s, who attended Amador: They thought that, while it was sad that it had come to this, it was necessary to bring in the drug sniffing dogs. I read the statistics and after listening to my kids, I've changed my mind. I have to agree with Karen. We need to get the drugs out of the schools for the sake of the good kids.


Posted by Ken Ken Ken, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 9:23 am

Ken, according to your line of reasoning, we should let bad things happen to children because, that's life.

"Hey Jerry Sandusky, it's okay if you 'wrestle' with Jimmy in the shower. He will be better for it."

"Want to kidnap a kid? Sure, it will make her realize to never leave the house alone. And that is a good life lesson."

You sound like George Bluth: Web Link


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

"Well I for one fully support any measure that is aimed at protecting our kids from the dangers of drugs and/or alcohol."

How could you possibly make a statement like that? "Any measure"? You have to be exaggerating. What if we strip searched all students when they arrived at school? That qualifies under "any measure".

Maybe this sort of policy would seem OK to citizens of Iran, but we live in the United States of America.

"My daughter & her friends have been blown away by how much drug activity they are seeing these days at FHS."

And drugs were rampant when I was in high school many years ago, but I made it all the way through without even trying marijuana. There were no drug sniffing dogs.

"Maybe they shouldn't be doing drugs in the first place and then they won't have to worry about getting caught."

But completely innocent students can get caught up in this (I've seen it for myself on a Navy base) and it will be very difficult for them to clear their reputations. I've explained on another thread how this could happen. Your statement sounds surprisingly like what a government character might say in an Orwell novel, or even an old episode of Twilight Zone.

Web Link

"Patriot - What do you propose then to get the drugs out of the schools? Or should we just let the upward trend continue unchecked?"

We need to be better parents. We should also make clear to the students the consequences of being caught with drugs or alcohol on campus and should pursue any reasonable suspicions. We don't need to treat students like criminals. The district can count on organized and expensive (for them) legal challenge should they go forward with this. Students should be protected from unreasonable search and seizure.


Posted by Wake up Pleasanton, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

I think it is a GREAT idea to bring in the dogs! If your kids are not involved with drugs at school you have nothing to worry about. I know for a fact that drugs are being used and sold right in front of the teachers. Unfortunately the teacher I know is afraid to say anything because she knows the parents of these kids will fight her on the issue and try to ruin her teaching reputation. It is really a sad day that our teachers have to fear this type of repercussion.


Posted by Wake up Pleasanton, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

I think it is a GREAT idea to bring in the dogs! If your kids are not involved with drugs at school you have nothing to worry about. I know for a fact that drugs are being used and sold right in front of the teachers. Unfortunately the teacher I know is afraid to say anything because she knows the parents of these kids will fight her on the issue and try to ruin her teaching reputation. It is really a sad day that our teachers have to fear this type of repercussion.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

Stacey is a registered user.

There will be unintended consequences to this. What a shame. Something to think about: teen tobacco use is at an all time low and it was no thanks to drug dogs.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 10:02 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"If your kids are not involved with drugs at school you have nothing to worry about."

That's not true. The innocent have plenty to worry about when they are treated like they are guilty first. Drug dogs are not accurate because they can indicate for drugs on accidental cues. It doesn't matter if you are later shown to be innocent, the suspicion has been raised and can be damaging.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 10:09 am

Stacey is a registered user.

The sheriff of Elko wisely handled the situation where the kids on the buses were found with drugs. Imagine being an innocent kid on that bus but getting booked because you were on a bus with other kids who were in possession of marijuana. You are later proven innocent but you were still booked. It goes on your record. What are the drug record expungement laws in California? Do you know?

Or what happens to an innocent kid getting his car searched and no drugs found but something else is. What if you forgot to take that airsoft gun and gear out of your trunk from your weekend before you headed to school Monday? "Oops"


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 10:12 am

Stacey is a registered user.

And remember girls, anything you are taking to ease any menstrual pain, don't keep them in your car or locker. You're not even supposed to have prescription and over-the-counter drugs with you at school. It's supposed to be kept in the office.


Posted by Vanessa, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 10:33 am

I don't understand the fuss regarding having the drug-sniffing dogs at schools. If your kid is following all of the rules, including the use of prescription and OTC drugs as Stacey mentions above, then what the hell is the problem. I see folks referring to school back in the day and how drugs were rampant then. Yes, they were but TIMES WERE DIFFERENT. You didn't have cell phones and social media and the technology that kids are exposed to today. That means that with change law enforcement also needs to change and use different tactics. If you break the law you deserve to get caught. Period. I WANT the drug dealers to get caught if that means preventing my child from being exposed to their lawlessness. Same as with the immigration mess in Arizona. I am a legal citizen but if asked to provide my proof of citizenship, I am not offended by that. As a law-abiding, legal citizen of this country, I show my proof and then am on my way. The law is the law, people! Don't break the law and you'll be just fine.


Posted by Karen, a resident of Val Vista
on Jan 11, 2012 at 10:42 am

Well I've asked my daughter & her friends if they feel that their rights are being infringed upon & they all gave a resounding "No". And that's because they choose to not participate in ILLEAGAL activities. They feel that their right to get a decent education is more in jeopardy from the blatant drug use & selling of drugs on campus. Do you know how many kids die every year from drug related issues? A child's ability to reason and logic full consequenses is not fully in tact until they are around 25 years old. That is a scientific fact and until then, we have RULES. We have to make sure that our kids are safe from narcotics and it takes WAY more than just the parents influence in many many cases! And Patriot - of course my statement about "any measure" was overstated. But THIS measure, totally appropriate in my view. I honestly feel that people who are erring on the side of just letting the kids find their own way around in regards to illeagal activities, are just asleep at the wheel. I for one can sleep better at night if I know that we, as a community, did everything we could (rationally) think of to safeguard our precious young people.


Posted by Kim, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 11, 2012 at 10:47 am

Obviously Vanessa you've never heard of entrapment and never heard that the former supt's tendency at a previous school district to do mass expulsions and suspensions for so-called drug and alcohol offenses (imagine having your kid suspended or expelled because they were simply in the presence of someone caught with alcohol) caught the attention of the State Senate/Assembly and the State's attorney general's office, that had to issue an opinion that these 'no tolerance' tactics were unconstitutional and illegal.

Imagine being arrested even if you were law abiding but happened to simply know someone who was caught.


Posted by Been There , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 11:56 am

It was never a problem for my daughter to go to the office to get her Excedrin Migraine or for my son to get his allergy medication.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I take umbrage at the preposterous idea that concern for allowing drug-sniffing dogs on campus is in any way associated with parents just letting kids find their own way around in regards to illegal activity. Education and trust is key to preventing drug abuse whereas treating the entire student population as suspect is a sure way to say, "We don't trust you". I challenge Karen to provide statistics on how effective drug-sniffing dogs are at keeping kids off drugs, not just .


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I challenge Karen to provide statistics on how effective drug-sniffing dogs are at keeping kids off drugs, not just how effective drug-sniffing dogs are at keeping drugs off campus. How many students are exposed to drugs off campus? You parents keep sending your kids out to parties with no clue about what is going on at them.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm

" If your kids are not involved with drugs at school you have nothing to worry about. "

I and others have already shown that this was not so. PUSD has been warned. Go ahead with this and face expensive legal trouble. They may get away with this in other districts, but many of us don't cotton to this kind of thing here, and will fight to get it stopped.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm

"Well I've asked my daughter & her friends if they feel that their rights are being infringed upon & they all gave a resounding "No". And that's because they choose to not participate in ILLEAGAL activities."

Young and naive students would not know their rights had been infringed until it was too late.

The innocent have plenty to fear. People who did not participate in any illegal activity could easily be caught up in this. I know of a specific case that occurred on a Navy base. A person's name and reputation are never completely cleared.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm

"Don't break the law and you'll be just fine."

That is not true. Combine zero tolerance with random searches and you invite mistakes and prosecution of the innocent.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm

We lived briefly in the Houston, Texas area. Our first middle school experience was with a principal fit for a military environment (she was later moved out). Students were bull horned in and out of lunch, not allowed to change tables, not allowed to talk . . . All very orderly and quiet, yet absolutely stifling. I'd hate to think we are moving in that direction. By the way, this wasn't in the city, it was a well-established suburb.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Kathleen said: "We lived briefly in the Houston, Texas area. Our first middle school experience was with a principal fit for a military environment (she was later moved out). Students were bull horned in and out of lunch, not allowed to change tables, not allowed to talk . . . All very orderly and quiet, yet absolutely stifling. I'd hate to think we are moving in that direction."

I agree that that's not the direction we want to move in. I remember my high school days and, yes, there were some substance problems. But it's not like everyone was doing it. There were a few troublemakers and 'characters' who were involved in the vast majority of the problems, while the rest of the student body was pretty clean. It seems that the best way to approach the issue is by quietly gathering intelligence on who the main characters causing the problems are. The students know who they are. Instead, it seems like the school board is adopting a "carpet bombing" approach to the problem.


Posted by Kim , a resident of Birdland
on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Regarding the military and prison like atmosphere, Pleasanton schools have already started to move in this direction particularly at some elementary schools where there are undocumented rules regarding lunch and recess, which have become highly regimented. At some locations, students are prohibited from talking going to and from one or the other activity, children are not allowed to play certain games or run during recess and volunteers and visitors are followed around and watched as if they are likely to steal something.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Too funny: not allowed to run on the blacktop during recess for fear you might scrap your knee and your parents will sue. Oh, the lengths we will go to protect our kids from harm!

I just wonder how drug-sniffing dogs would prevent this: Web Link


Posted by hwerner, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm

As someone who grew up in Pleasanton, has taught in the schools, and is now raising a child in this community, I'm all for it!! Most parents are pretty clueless as to what goes on in their child's lives and need to be more invloved. Parents need to learn the warning signs of drug and alcohol abuse and stop thinking that it won't happen here.

The best thing our community can do to help the escalating drug issues is to educate the parents better and re-vamp the school drug and alcohol programs. The DARE program is outdated and out of touch with the issues/problems in our community and schools today. I'm pretty sure if all these kids doing drugs took a field trip to the local prison or heard the horror stories of a recovering addict, they might think twice about doing drugs/alcohol.

The reality is kids are doing drugs in our town and have been doing them for years. I'm glad people are finally starting to realize it might ACTUALLY be happening here and are going to start doing something about the problem!!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

No! The best thing our community can do to help stop the escalation of the drug issue is to have drug dogs sniff the parents!


Posted by Karen, a resident of Val Vista
on Jan 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

There are detectors at every clothing store, they check our receipts at Costco before we leave, there are security cameras & guards all around yet I don't feel as they are treating me as a suspect. It's called SECURITY. And I know who it's directed at...those doing wrong. Pretty sure our kids can figure the same thing out.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Thankfully those detectors are not checking out our other private property that we bought at other stores and Costco is not asking to check our receipts from other stores. Karen can't provide anything showing how effective drug sniffing dogs are at preventing drug abuse by teens because the fact is they just aren't. Ask any substance abuse expert what the most effective means are.


Posted by Susan, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

All for the drug-sniffing dogs. Anything to reduce having drugs used on campus is helpful. Who wants their child walking/riding/driving next to someone who is high?


Posted by Sniffing Uproar, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I am on the side of dogs coming in to sniff for drugs. My feeling is that kids that are bringing drugs onto campus are endangering children's lives and their own! I don't want them attempting to pressure my kids into doing drugs or my kids thinking some cool kid is doing it so maybe I should try it. In crime ridden neighborhoods they have metal detectors the students have to go through to get into the school so guns and knives aren't brought in. What is the difference? I don't want those in my children's school either! I consider the drug sniffing dogs to be the drug metal detectors.

Keep the drugs at home kids where your parents will hopefully find them and get you some help.


Posted by Sniffing Uproar, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

@Stacey - I don't consider the dogs to be used to prevent drug abuse. The kids who are bringing them on campus will still abuse them somewhere else until they get help. I consider it preventing illegal substances from coming onto school grounds. I bet if all of a sudden there was a gun or weapon problem at school and metal detectors were brought in that all kids had to pass through before entering school grounds that would be bad too? I consider both issues a safety concern.

I want to see the dogs sniffing for bombs at the airports too!


Posted by kolohe, a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm

sadly, you might have to go down to the middle school level. i worked in the fremont school district, you would be surprised how many youngsters came to school drunk or high. i personally feel, lots of these behaivors start at home and will need to be fixed at the home. many pta parents we shocked, tho, after working on the yard for a few wks, they were surprised. children will try anything to be cool, a few will get hooked and a few will be able to walk away.

parents, be smart, spend time with yr kids and thier friends, you will learn lots...good luck


Posted by Sniffing Uproar, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Oh wait...maybe the drug sniffing/bomb sniffing dogs at the airports are infringing on someones rights. That is fine with me! I don't want some bomb getting into the plane that I am about to board.

Safety people...it is about safety. Not preventing abuse.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm

" Anything to reduce having drugs used on campus is helpful."

Sure, and if we arrest a few innocent kids, well that's just collateral damage.


Posted by None of the Above, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Just another case of trading our freedom for security.

Searches for drugs should be done at home, by parents. Do YOU know what's in your kids' car and backpack?

Who knows, his/her pot could be better than your own.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"I don't consider the dogs to be used to prevent drug abuse."

You don't, but someone else here does...

People go through security at the airport and are randomly searched and yet bombs have still made their way onto planes (i.e., underwear bomber). Real safety and security is about investing in effective means of deterrent, not investing in security theater.


Posted by Gabe, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I'm a senior at Amador, and Stacey couldn't have it more correct. The rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves and start thinking about the actual welfare of us as people. If a close friend of yours was using drugs, you wouldn't turn them in simply because "the law is the law." The fact is that our societies perceptions of drugs and their use/misuse is so skewed and full of misinformation that our laws often don't reflect what the situation requires. I've had a best friend almost get stuck with felony charges this year because of a little pot. I swear to you he was not hurting anybody with his actions, and the fact that he almost had his life and future ruined because of a harmless plant is what's really criminal. And after doing homework on the situation, I came to the conclusion that the police broke the law in searching him in the first place. What kind of message does that send? I personally know many of the students engaging in risky drug use and the prevalent causes don't seem to be engagement in other criminal activity, but depression, stress, and lack of information. If you are all of te opinion that drugs are so bad, don't you think that pure information would be enough to stop their abuse? There has to be a better way to get it out there then throwing people behind iron bars and calling that a form a "education." When they get out, they won't be able to get a job anyways so they'll probably turn to selling drugs. It's all just f***ed, it really is. I don't want to see this happen because yes, kids make mistakes. But that IS a part of life. No sane person can expect to eliminate risk and liability from the human experience.

Ultimately, drug use is ALWAYS a personal decision, because the law (in theory) only punishes retroactively. Pass as many laws and arrest as many people as you want, but mind-altering substances and drugs will never be rooted out because of fear.


Posted by Sniffing Uproar, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Drug and alcohol abuse has been around forever. It will never stop. Why should I be understanding if a student is caught with a small amount of pot? It is illegal. Should we be understanding of a drunk driver when they plow their car into innocent people and kill them? Or blame their parents? No. It is a law that was broken and had terrible consequences. I DO NOT want my son or daughter to be driving out of the student parking lot next to someone who just smoked a joint in their car and is driving out on the road with them. Everyone needs to take accountability for their actions - including children. If they get busted...they get busted. Hopefully a lesson learned or if not they sink even further in a downward spiral. They need help, yes. But not by letting them get by. Then maybe the next person who is having problems with drugs or alcohol will see that and think twice about their own actions.

I believe, however, that laws are laws. Whether we agree with them or not, they are there for the common good. Drugs and alcohol are illegal for minors to have in their possession. Therefore having them at school is illegal. If someone came on campus with a "small" gun should we be understanding because it is only a "small" gun.

If my son or daughter had drugs on them at school and got caught I would be very upset, however, a crime is a crime and they would need to suffer whatever the consequences for those actions would be.

We all need to be held accountable for our own actions...I believe that is what is wrong with some people these days...the root of the problem is always someone else's but their own. Take ownership!


Posted by Ananymous , a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

You , whoever posted this is kinda dumb just because theses kids are gunna find out about this and stop bringing drugs on campus the dogs won't bust that many and the word will get around VERY quickly


Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jan 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Gabe, you wouldn't need to use 'fear' to root out bad behavior if your kids had respect for the law. That's something that's been lost over the years with the prevalence of the 'anything goes' attitude that liberals espouse. If you respected yourself and the law, you'd never start using drugs in the first place. Teaching that type of respect starts at home and if parents don't teach respect, the police will enforce the law regardless as to whether little jimmy thinks it's right or not.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I don't think that it's necessary to post dogs on a high school campus.

I think that who have got the sniffy stuff down should be place on every street corner of Plutonia. sorry to have to bring you the bad news, but I have smelled pots all over Plutonia, especially Farmer's Market.

turn the sniffy dogs aloose...


Posted by Gabe, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Sorry Steve, but that's pure opinion.

And yes Sniffing Uproar, laws are laws. Excellent point. But what is a law but words written on paper and signed into effect by a bunch of empty suits. If you're so concerned about DUI's, please don't come at me with Cannabis as your example. 0 deaths have ever been attributed to its use, even when used in conjunction with motor vehicles. Alcohol, on the other hand kills over 100,000 people in this country each year. I don't hear you calling for its prohibition when it's clearly such a safety concern. And in response to your last paragraph, that's really exactly what I'm saying. I'm not a proponent of drug use, by any means. But I'm being open-minded and analytical enough to recognize that there are more pressing matters in our schools and society. I ask that you do the same.

"Whose property is my body? Probably mine. I so regard it. If I experiment with it, who must be answerable? I, not the State. If I choose injudiciously, does the State die? Oh, no."
-- Mark Twain



Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

The sniffy dogs have got their act down and could find it all over Plutonia.

turn the sniffy dogs aloose...and, i mean it!!!


Posted by Jose, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Sad to see the concept of the "police state" coming to a neighborhood school near you. At least someone is getting money out of all this, right? ;-) Regardless, those who fear it, go ahead and spend your money fighting it legally, and those who don't, good job for raising your kids the right way. Don't waste energy on dumb rhetoric and inflated egos- follow the money and you will find the cause, discipline your kids about drugs and you will find peace.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm

"Well I've asked my daughter & her friends if they feel that their rights are being infringed upon & they all gave a resounding "No". "

I hope your kids are not going to go to law school, they would make incompetent and awful lawyers.

They should study constitutional issues, though, and you should help them understand the bigger picture. Imagine student A's car being sniffed, the unreliable dogs smell something, student A is singled out, no drugs are found....hmmm here comes the lawyers, ACLU and an expensive legal battle for the district begins.

Read about it. Across the nation - Washington, other CA areas, this dumb dog sniffing was challenged, and the districts backed off.

Before your daughter can understand why her rights are indeed about to be potentially violated even if she is not a drug user, YOU need to understand the constitutional rights we have.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

"All for the drug-sniffing dogs. Anything to reduce having drugs used on campus is helpful. Who wants their child walking/riding/driving next to someone who is high?"

And how are dogs going to prevent that? Are you going to sniff every person in every corner of the city?

Dogs will not solve the drug problem, and they will only create legal battles for a district that claims to need money in the form of donations from the parents they are about to alienate with this nonsense.

There are other forums where we have posted link after link to cases, in CA and other states, about the dog sniffing stuff and how districts ended up going oops after the lawyers came in. The ACLU got involved in CA a while back and in Washington not long ago. A parent who is a lawyer recently (2009) sued the district because of the dog sniffing and the district backed off and stopped using the dogs. I guess PUSD is next in the legal battle with this nonsense, because it will happen. And how much are they paying for the dogs? Where is the money coming from - our PTA or PPIE donations? the general fund? which program are we sacrificing to fund this dumb idea of dog sniffing?


Posted by Gabe, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm

The PPD is offering this "service" for free. So the money will be coming out of the law enforcement budget, as if it isn't overinflated enough in Pleasanton as it is. A SWAT team... really? But money is money and you're absolutely right. Those dollars are better spent improving our schools, not making them battlegrounds for this "war on drugs."


Posted by franco, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm

franco is a registered user.

There is no one in this thread who disagrees with the goal: protect our kids from drugs and thwart its prevalence on school campuses. The problem, though, which is missed by many and recognized by others in this thread is the method - police using drug-sniffing dogs on campus. It risks painting large numbers of students with a black brush who are otherwise innocent. Jane drives to school each day carrying three of her friends. One of them stashes her cannabis in Jane's car. Jane and her other friends may or may not know about this friend's actions. Upon investigation after the dog sniffs Jane's car, all of their names will be entered into a police database, the records of which will then follow them through life.

"Jane Smith, age 17, investigated for drug possession and then released."

Today, everything goes into databases which are then easily searchable. Companies everywhere do background checks before hiring people. Government agencies (including police) have already been doing this for years.

My cousin retired from the police force of an Ohio city about two years ago. He was a lieutenant and was extremely paranoic about his personal privacy. No email, no web anything. Asked why, he related how, as a police officer, he saw the results of all of this stuff entered into databases. Young people wanting to apply for police jobs were simply denied because entries like the above come up in the background check. He saw everyday first hand the results of information such as in this example. He personally wanted to be as invisible as possible relative to the vast databases that today exist containing information about people. Simply because of the injustice that they may cause.

So, be careful before you conclude that drug sniffing dogs on campus is a good thing. Only if you are certain it won't black-brush a lot of innocent students.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Drugs are illegal. Period. There is well documented issues with drugs being brought onto our high school campuses. This is illegal. Why is it that we feel schools need to be a safe house, a place that is above the law when it comes to illegal activity?

Talk about lawsuits- how about the liability for the schools to have kids there who are taking drugs and drinking.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm

"The PPD is offering this "service" for free. So the money will be coming out of the law enforcement budge"

It is still coming out of the taxpayers. The police has cut jobs across the state, but they have money for this ridiculous dog sniffing? As a parent and taxpayer, I do not want my dollars being used in something that has the potential of violating the rights of students, will bring lawsuits to a district that claims to need money in the form of donations, and it is simply a bad idea that will not solve the problem with drugs.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm

"Drugs are illegal. Period."

But the fact that drug use is illegal does not give anyone the right to violate a person's constitutional rights, to single out students who may be innocent, or to assume every student is guilty.

Again, dogs will not solve the drug problem.


Posted by Pete , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Stacey,Patriot or Gabe... I respectfully test your research ability to identify the spokesman of the following. Answer the statements(agree or disagree) as they are presented and then present an argument. Your voices are heard... just not understood by me though... on this subject matter.
Almost everyone in business or profession has a school angle to his work___
Few can say they "don't care whether school keeps or not"___
We put more money into our schools than into any other one service from what we call "government."___
More people-parents and children-depend upon good schools for most of their lifetime's welfare and happiness than upon any other thing we pay for with taxes.___
Parents send their children to school to get something that will serve them well throughout life.___
Most parents think they invest a large part of their lives in their children.___
Children invest an important part of their lives in their schools.___
Parents are almost entirely responsible for both investments.___

I suspose... let the lawsuits begin. I grew up around businessman and educators... but never obtaining a mentor, just good people to look up too. Start an ad hoc committee to gather the facts. An ad hoc committee of students from both schools working together would communicate wonders to all and not be a wasted effort... I'm sure.


Posted by amador HIGH student, a resident of Civic Square
on Jan 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

at the end of the day this wont stop us. u can bring dogs but me and my frends are still gunna smoke pot erryday so smd !


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Sniffy dogs aren't needed. All you have to do is put up a reward of $25,000 and the day the snitches will form a line and collect their reward!


Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jan 12, 2012 at 8:01 am

Thou doth protest too much. If you're really concernd about personal freedoms and protecting your kid's precious right to get high and make mistakes, go to the topic Tim Hunt posted today about nanny state regulations that went into effect on Jan. 1. There are numerous opportunities for you convenient libertarians to complain about, instead of cherry picking this one proposal.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 12, 2012 at 8:35 am

Steve, True libertarians would eliminate the illegality of drug use altogether, so it's not just about dogs and making mistakes. I have my concerns about that, of course, but substance abuse continues despite the laws (alcohol and prescription drugs as well) and the war on drugs is costing a fortune and killing people domestically and abroad, with little positive impact.

All forms of government in this country are overstepping their original charters. Some large percentage of us want those protections; another large percentage does not. It was pointed out elsewhere that legislatures should be part time so they would stop enacting laws to look like their accomplishing something (except important stuff, like budgets). A sausage maker is gonna show up to work and make sausage; legislators are gonna show up and legislate.


Posted by Vanessa, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 12, 2012 at 8:42 am

Patriot, I respectfully disagree. Entrapment doesn't just "happen". I maintain my stand... if you don't break the law, and you don't surround yourself with those who break the law, you will be just fine. If you choose to break the law, or if you choose to surround yourself with those who break the law, well, be ready to face the consequences. Kids these days think they can get away with anything, think they are invincible. They are not! I will continue to support any measure to try and help keep my child safe.


Posted by Libertarian, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 12, 2012 at 8:49 am

It's all part of the nanny state. First they introduce dogs, then they restrict our ability to use self-serve check-outs in grocery stores. Next they'll be giving tax breaks to people who ride bikes instead of driving cars. Fight the tyranny!!!


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2012 at 8:56 am

PUSD is already talking about budget issues:

Web Link

yet they don't stop to think about the potential legal costs this dog nonsense will bring to the district.

I wonder if anyone on the board has bothered to do some research and find out that other districts in CA have already been through this, one as recent as 2009, faced lawsuits and had to back off.

SO PUSD has money for potential litigation but is already talking about a deficit?

Vanessa: the best thing you can do to keep your child safe is teach him/her about making good choices and selecting his/her friends carefully. Keeping him/her in a bubble and hope that others do the "choosing" for your child is not realistic. Bringing dogs to school will not help keep your child safe, it only gives you the illusion that your child will no longer be exposed to drugs. The drug problem needs to be addressed, but not by using unreliable dogs.


Posted by kolohe, a resident of another community
on Jan 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

to all the children soon to be adults, one day you too will have children that run with crowds that you won't approve of, all it will take is one the those friends to slip your child something before all hell breaks lose. i understand the students may feel your rights are being broken, but they're showing us that they are not grown up enough to be smart and leave the drugs at home. you are in school to learn right? leave the recreational drugs at home, then you won't have a reason to complain right? why complain and have a fit if you're not doing anything wrong right? parents you need to check your childrens belongings if you feel they are using drugs, if you're to afraid to, call the police, they will know how to handle the situation..


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 12, 2012 at 10:19 am

Stacey is a registered user.

That's what I've been saying! Parents should hire the PPD drug dogs to sniff around the home if they are so confident at the method! What's good for the goose is good for the gander.


Posted by Please...., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2012 at 10:52 am

Ahh, wouldn't it be great if all parents talked to their children...

Ahh, wouldn't it be great if all parent educated their children on the results of drinking alcohol and/or taking mind altering drugs...

Ahh, wouldn't it be great if the 'Every 15 minute' program would stop all substance abuse...


Please............

Some here are living in la-la land.  Pandora's box is WIDE open.  All kinds of abuse occurs daily - all around us.  Unfortunately, there are SOME parents that will NEVER model the correct behavior to their child.  That is truth.  Physical abuse is also in our midst.  'Adults' (using the term loosely) are largely to blame, and you expect them to "teach their children well"???


I applaud the School District for looking at this issue and I SUPPORT the use of drug sniffing dogs being used as one more tool at their disposal to keep schools safe for ALL students.

I do hope they approve their use....And if they do - to those that want to bring suit against the district - Save your time and money (as well as the taxpayer's money) because it is legal.  You may not like it but it IS legal.

School District:  Please move forward


Posted by Kim, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

I think several of you miss the point. The core business for PUSD is actually litigation, not education. Education is merely a sidebar while they engage in years of litigation.

For years, it has gone from one major lawsuit to the other and I think actually looks for whatever ways it can possibly can to file and defend lawsuits.

After all, the predecessor district, the Amador Valley Joint Union High School District, filed a suit against the State and State voters for passing Proposition 13 in the first place and spent most of the 1970s and countless dollars on trying to convince the courts, all the way up to the California Supreme Court, that the people had revised the California Constitution unlawfully and that initiatives were illegal. Don't believe me? Well here it is -------Web Link

Since that time, for the last 30 years, every decade there is a major court case that takes a decade or more to go up and down the court system, where Pleasanton loses, and the taxes we pay that are earmarked for education aren't spent on education but in fact gets flushed down the toilet.


Posted by Kim, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

To give you an idea of the volume of money flushed down the toilet, these lawyers all had to be paid for Amador Valley Joint Union vs CA State Board of Equalization.

COUNSEL
William A. Norris, Stanley C. Fickle, Nancy E. Howard, Tuttle & Taylor, Edward J. Wallin, Keith V. Breon, Martha Buell Scott, Breon, Galgani & Godino, Larry J. Frierson, Ron Apperson, Ralph D. Stern, John J. Wagner, Wagner & Wagner, Richard C. Anthony, Frank J. Fekete, Peter J. Landsberger, John L. Bukey, Biddle, Walters & Bukey, John J. Hamlyn, Jr., Downey, Brand, Seymour & Rohwer, Richard J. Moore, [22 Cal.3d 218] County Counsel, Kelvin H. Booty, Jr., James F. May, Adam Seth Ferber, John H. Cosier, Deputy County Counsel, Dawson Arnold, County Counsel, Frank J. De Marco, County Counsel, Robert A. Rehberg, County Counsel, George Agnost, City Attorney, Robert A. Kenealey, Assistant Chief Deputy City Attorney, Burk E. Delventhal, Margaret M. Heiser, Deputy City Attorneys, and Douglas Hickling, in pro. per., for Petitioners.
Evelle J. Younger, Attorney General, N. Eugene Hill, Chief Assistant Attorney General, John J. Klee, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, Clayton P. Roche, Edward P. Hollingshead, Jeffrey J. Fuller, Steven A. Merksamer and Marc B. Mihaly, Deputy Attorneys General, John H. Larson, County Counsel, Roger M. Whitby and Lawrence B. Launer, Deputy County Counsel, John B. Clausen, County Counsel, Daneen C. Flynn, Deputy County Counsel, Ralph B. Jordan, County Counsel, and D. N. Reid, Assistant County Counsel, for Respondents.
Van Bourg, Allen, Weinberg & Roger, Victor J. Van Bourg, Stewart Weinberg, Peter T. Galiano, Raymond L. Hansen, Penn Foote, Charles R. Gustafson, Robert H. Horn, Gene P. Gardiner, Ben H. Zuppan, Domingo R. Quintero, Michael S. Hegner, Graham A. Ritchie, David R. McEwen, John F. Powell, Thomas H. Crawford, Earl L. Bohachek, Rubenstein & Bohachek, John C. Wakefield, Ann Fagan Ginger, Ralph Santiago Abascal, Neil D. Eisenberg, Stanley E. Remelmeyer, City Attorney (Torrance), and Roger P. Freeman, Deputy City Attorney, as Amici Curiae.

Web Link


Posted by janet, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I got stopped at the airport by a drug sniffing dog for having tangerine peels in my coat pocket. hmmm...how will this work?


Posted by Sniffing Uproar, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I found a very interesting article from 2007 about a district in California (PUSD - but not our PUSD) and drug sniffing dogs.

Web Link

It is interesting to note the points they make in this article about what is deemed legal or illegal and what the courts think about it.

Sounds like PUSD should be able to hammer out a policy that won't lead to civil rights violations if done correctly.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm

In the article posted by Sniffing Uproar, many things are said and among them they say that it is "legal to separate students from their belongings," to search backpacks, etc.

Here is another article that says the opposite: a 2009 lawsuit brought against a California school district for doing just that (separating students from their belongings in order to search for drugs) :

Web Link

What Sniffing Uproar fails to see is that the issue has not been resolved by the courts. We do have the ruling of the 9th circuit court where they define sniffing as a search and therefore, a student and his/her personal belongings (like backpacks) cannot be searched without INDIVIDUAL probable cause. Legal fees is what PUSD will get if they insist on having dogs at school.

It is true that perhaps the sniffing of cars in the school's parking lot is legal, but what may not be is what is done after: student A's car is sniffed, the unreliable dog smells something, then what? Assume the car of student A is searched and no drugs are found, then what? Looks like a good lawsuit.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm

"a student and his/her personal belongings (like backpacks) cannot be searched without INDIVIDUAL probable cause. "

meant to write

a student and his/her personal belongings (like backpacks) cannot be searched without INDIVIDUAL REASONABLE SUSPICION


Posted by franco, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jan 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm

franco is a registered user.

Not sure if anyone else posted this link. But here it is. It shows, if nothing else, how legally charged this issue of drug dogs is around the country.

Web Link


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