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School board gives tentative nod to drug dogs at schools

Original post made on Jan 15, 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 Friday, January 13, 2012, 12:00 AM

Comments (19)

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Posted by FHS10
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I think its a really good idea, but think about it, if the kids are going to bring drugs onto campus and then get expelled for them, its going to 1. give pleasanton a bad reputation along with all of the highschools. 2. If the kids see that there are dogs and police raiding their cars and what-not they're going to rebel and keep doing them. Hearing that there have been 26 expulsions by foothill already for "drug busts" thats honestly pathetic and sad for the younger generations. Only a few years ago my graduating class realized there was a "fad" of drugs that the younger generations were getting themselves into. It's scary and sad. The kids think its "cool" to do them, when its absoultely trashy and white trash. It's smart to try and prevent the kids from drinking and doing drugs but when it comes down to it, its their choice. Yes, instrict rules and punishments for them but having drug dogs? its making pleasanton look really ghetto and trashy.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm

PUSD can count on an expensive lawsuit if they move forward with this policy. Please read my comments on the other threads where I explain my objections.


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Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Interesting commentary when we just straight to lawsuit threats when we dont like a decision. Actually before a decision is even made! Its the new "I'm telling on you" except along with it goes the threat of financially ruining a school district and police force over something that is within their legal rights.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm

"over something that is within their legal rights. "

Are you sure about that? I do not know why you can say it is their legal right to bring dogs to school when the courts have not made a decision yet.

Various states are challenging canine sniffs. In Montana, the ACLU is looking into the sniffing of students' cars in the school's parking lot (2011).

Read about the most recent challenge to canine sniff, a case that is currently going to the Supreme Court, even though many were so sure that the 2005 Supreme Court decision would have applied:

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 6 decided it would review Florida v. Jardines, that addresses whether a dog sniff at the front door of a home is a search that requires probable cause"

"The case follows another involving a traffic stop and a canine search of a vehicle, Illinois v. Caballes, in 2005. The Supreme Court held in that case that a dog sniff around a car during a routine traffic stop was not a search."

"However, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Caballes was inapplicable in the Florida v. Jardines case. In Florida v. Jardines, a drug detection dog sniffed the outside door of a suspected marijuana grow house, which lead to the house being searched."

"The Florida Supreme Court said the dog's outside odor detection was "a substantial government intrusion into the sanctity of the home and constitutes a 'search' within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment." "

"The U.S. Supreme Court could hear oral arguments on the case in April, with a decision possible by the end of June."

Source:

Web Link




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Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2012 at 8:39 am

How about checking the courts here, locally, such as cases against Livermore, and Dublin since they are currently using the same tactic to help keep illegal drugs off their school campuses.

"The key is that the dogs are not sniffing a student's body, which begins to bring up Fourth Amendment search and seizure issues, they said. A "locker sniff," however, is not considered a "search," under the U.S. Constitution, since the school common areas are considered public space."


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Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 16, 2012 at 9:03 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

Wake me when it's over.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2012 at 9:34 am

"How about checking the courts here, locally, such as cases against Livermore, and Dublin since they are currently using the same tactic to help keep illegal drugs off their school campuses. "

No one in Livermore or Dublin has challenged the canine sniffs.

But in another district in California, La Canada, a parent who is an attorney sued the district in 2009 because the students' backpacks were sniffed. The case never went to court because the district backed off and withdrew the dog sniffing, because of the threat of lawsuit (with their superintendent quoted as saying that what they did was not legal and therefore they were revising their dog sniffing policy).

And the last time the ACLU of Northern CA got involved was in 1996, and again, the case never made it to court because the district decided to stop the canine sniffs rather than go to trial against the ACLU.

We only have the ruling of the 9th circuit court, and a case from Florida that is now in the US Supreme court challenging the court's 2005 ruling.

A legal challenge in California is possible and will happen.


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Posted by blah blah blah
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2012 at 10:04 am

I see that patriot and resident are on this thread too and are threatening to bankrupt the school system with their lawsuits.

Do they have a life? It appears not, unless their job is with the ACLU to monitor these boards.

Blah blah blah


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 16, 2012 at 11:03 am

I'll just repeat what I wrote when this bad idea was first floated, and then leave you to it.

As the former head librarian at Foothill High (2003-2011), I can say this:

The drug most often abused by high school students in Pleasanton is alcohol. They get the alcohol from their parents' supplies. Do the drug-sniffing dogs also detect vodka? Students who abuse alcohol often carry vodka in their water bottles because it's a clear substance that looks like--well, water in a water bottle.

There are already security cameras in the parking lots and common areas of the schools. You cannot have security cameras in the classrooms because students have the right to opt-out of being photographed or videotaped outside of the common areas (privacy concerns). Most teachers would also object to constant video surveillance in the classroom because we have to do things such as discipline students, etc., and that is a private matter that is not to be videotaped and shared with the world.

Teenagers will live up to--or down to--your expectations. The drug-sniffing dogs are an intrusive and a heavy-handed tactic that will just anger and alienate the vast majority of good kids while doing little to stop the drug dealers/users (hint: if the dogs won't go near the students, the students will just find another place to hide the drugs other than gym lockers or their cars--one of our custodians at Foothill found drugs stashed under the liner of a trash can, for example. If classrooms aren't going to be searched, then if there are any teachers in possession of drugs on school grounds, they'll just put them in their desks or hide them in another place on campus).

A better way to find out who's using/dealing drugs (including alcohol) is observation of teen behavior and relying on tips from other students. I reported odd student behavior to the administration at Foothill when I was a member of the faculty. Oh, and who deals drugs on the campuses is often widely-known by the students; it's getting the students to tell us that's the problem. You'll not get their cooperation through these useless, counter-productive sweeps. Education, dialog, and trust are better weapons, but parents and the out-of-touch central office administrators (as well as some principals) don't want to hear that.

I wonder if Kevin Johnson will have drug dogs searching the parking lot of the PUSD administration? After all, those people work for the district, too, and shouldn't they be included in the drug sweeps? Or are only classroom teachers and the students they serve presumed to be guilty until proven innocent?

I would also ask if PUSD plans to use the drug-sniffing dogs on the cars of the Board members when they meet. We don't want the Board voting on important matters after they've been snorting coke or eating psychedelic mushrooms. I presume that all the Board members are doing so unless they can prove to me that they're innocent.

Happy Martin Luther King Day, Pleasanton.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

To "blah blah blah",

You seem to be monitoring these blogs too. Do you have a life, or do you just like to insult people with whom you disagree? Oh, and you forgot to mention Stacey, she frequently chimes in on this subject too.

I'm no big fan of the ACLU, but they have their purpose.

"How about checking the courts here, locally, such as cases against Livermore, and Dublin"

Just because they don't have lawsuits in Dublin and Livermore doesn't mean we won't or can't have a lawsuit in Pleasanton.


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Posted by Lets do this
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 18, 2012 at 7:41 am

Would it really be so bad if the kids medicating with drugs were identified and helped by this additional effort to deter the use/spread of drugs in our schools?

Daniel: The use of pot often goes hand-in-hand with vodka or prescription drugs. Some kids already tip admin on drugs/theft, etc. The use of dogs is an additional vehicle to deter the use/spread of drugs on campus. Users may think of this as heavy handed but the non-users are actually thrilled that the school is committed keeping drugs off their campus. And yes, what is good for the goose should apply. They should sweep all lots, especially since some kids have access to the teachers lot and it's clear from recent news reports that adults also make poor choices and those that do shouldn't be in the classroom with our kids.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2012 at 8:46 am

"but the non-users are actually thrilled that the school is committed keeping drugs off their campus. "

My child does not use drugs and does not have an opinion one way or the other. As a parent, however, I do object to the dogs on campus. I do not want to see measures that have the potential of violating civil liberties being used. Find another way.

There is a reason people in many states are challenging the canine sniffs: once you allow the civil rights of a few to be violated, it can lead to an ugly path.

Look at what happened in Florida. The US Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that canine sniffs of a car were legal and not a violation of 4th amendment rights. So in Florida, they took that ruling too far, and sniffed the outside of a home and based on the dog's cues, they searched the house without probable cause (only cue was the dog's).

The 2005 US Supreme court precedent was used as justification but the Florida Supreme Court said nonsense, it is a violation of 4th amendment rights, and ruled that the search was illegal and a violation of constitutional rights.... so now the case is in the US Supreme Court.

In Montana, the ACLU is looking into the sniffing of students' cars in the school parking lot (2011).

In California, a parent sued the school district in 2009 because of canine sniffs and the district backed off rather than going to trial.

In Washington, the issue was dealt with, the ACLU got involved, the districts stopped canine sniffs....... across the nation canine sniffs are being challenged.

Find another way to deal with the drug problem.


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Posted by Zadie
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 18, 2012 at 9:39 am

[Removed because it was disrespectful and inappropriate - GCA]


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2012 at 11:47 am

"They should sweep all lots, especially since some kids have access to the teachers lot and it's clear from recent news reports that adults also make poor choices and those that do shouldn't be in the classroom with our kids. "

Sniffing dogs are not the solution. That being said though, let's assume dogs are indeed use and a teacher is caught, then what? The Foothill teacher recently involved in a drug issue got a slap on the wrist, and to the best of my knowlege, there were no civil rights violations. Read about it:

""I'm not going to find you guilty -- yet," said Pleasanton Superior Court Judge Hugh Walker, who ordered her to complete a drug diversionary program."

Web Link

Now imagine if civil rights are violated and the arrest itself is challenged.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I don't understand how come some people get so sniffy about a few dogs on campus? go figure...


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Posted by FHS10
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 21, 2012 at 11:08 am

Having the drug sniffing dogs on campus is absolutely ubsurd. The kids are going to do the drugs regardless. Yeah its bad to have them on school grounds and they should be punished for them but going to the damn extreme is stupid and unecessary. The students are only going to rebel and STILL not care.


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Posted by Zadie
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

[Removed because it was disrespectful and inappropriate - GCA]


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Posted by helen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2012 at 6:27 am

Are the PE lockers tamper-proof? Are the kids automatically expelled or suspended if even they deny the stash is theirs? What happens to the kids who are busted? Do they become drop-outs or are they given any chance of getting an education elsewhere? Will drugs like ritalin and other stimulants the kids are buying from each other be part of the search? Seems the DARE program is ineffective. The police department should find a program that works with helping kids stay drug-free.


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Posted by Jeff
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

I expect at least a few will take the opportunity to "get back" at someone by planting a bit of drugs in their locker or car. Then they can watch them get expelled and laugh at having the school screw their enemy over for them...


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