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Drug dogs may be headed to Pleasanton high schools

Original post made on Dec 22, 2011

Teens, teachers and parents, leave your pot at home if you're headed to any of the city's three high schools after January. A measure is headed to the school board that would bring drug dogs to the schools on a regular basis. A push by principals for the drug-sniffing canines will go before the school board on Jan. 10 and could be approved before the end of next month.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 22, 2011, 7:34 AM

Comments (66)

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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 22, 2011 at 8:46 am

It's about time. And including the staff parking lot is appropriate. My problem is with the weak penalties. As a taxpayer, I fund those schools and teachers. Make it zero tolerance. Get caught, get expelled. Period. No more public school ever.
About Jeff Hintzke's objections -- get real. (Comment removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

While I think Hintzke's comment was odd, I agree with him in that I do not like the idea of the sniffing dogs. The dogs are not 100% reliable and they could smell something that is not drugs (a false alarm) or smell something previously there but no longer in the car.

I think that there is room for legal problems if PUSD does not do things right. Can they force a student to open his/her car just based on what an unreliable sniffing dog might have smelled? I don't think so.

Given how the 9th circuit court has ruled so far and the ACLU lawsuit in the state of Washington, I think that the sniffing dogs will be a lawsuit waiting to happen.

The anonymous tips would be better. I heard from a neighbor how the anonymous tip was handled by PUSD, and I think the drug charges will hold up in court. So PUSD: set up an anonymous phone line for kids to report drug activity on campus.


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Posted by Nancy s.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2011 at 10:33 am

AYeah jeff..."the joint you were smoking while driving the night before"...whats wrong with this statement...ppd, I woukd be following jeff around. Good, lets get the dogs in there asap!


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Posted by Main Street Jay Walker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2011 at 10:52 am

Catch them anyway you can. Pleasantonians may be surprised at who is actually dealing the drugs at school ... hint: it's not the big gangster rappers from East Oakland.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2011 at 11:01 am

This community needs to come together and work towards prevention stratagies that will help reduce the substance abuse that goes on and Pleasanton, primarily our schools. If it takes dogs sniffers, so be it. As a parent of an addict who went through the school system in Pleasanton, I urge you to work with each other to save these children and this wonderful community. I wish there were dog sniffers when my child was in high school. It quite possibly could have prevented the heartache and devistation our family has gone through. Let Pleasanton be the leader in drug prevention, not the leader in drug abuse.
Drug-related deaths have now topped traffic-related deaths. This rise is due to an increase in overdoses from prescription narcotics.


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Posted by Geesh
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

Weekly wrote: "Teens, teachers and parents, leave your pot at home if you're headed to any of the city's three high schools after January."

Leave it at home???? Ho about don't use it at all?

geesh

really poor opening sentence weekly...........................


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2011 at 11:47 am

Dogs are a great tool! The officers behind dogs will require monitoring... personally, I feel comfortable Kevin Johnson overseeing the trial run of this program. Children often reflect the attitudes of their parents. Any tool to assist teachers to govern their classroom would be welcomed... by most students. A process procedure should be established and understood prior to becoming a norm... to best avoid any disruption of classes.


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Posted by Scott Walsh
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I would like to see things go a step farther with cameras in the parking lots, locker areas (Not PE GYM Lockers)and in the classrooms. The teachers would probably teach better and the kids would behave better. I know I am in the minority but the kid who really wants an education and the teacher that really wants to teach would have a better shot at that accomplishment. Drugs are a major problem in this town but parents don't know how bad it is. "Not my kid"! You might just be surprised. The Tri Valley has been known as "Oxy Valley" and now heroin is here big time, as it is cheaper. Oxycontin is synthetic Heroin. This is a good start but this is not a strong enough measure. I do applaud the School Board making a start on this.Parents should randomly drug check their kids because you will be surprised. Kids are excellent liars. If a kid is drug free they should not sweat a drug test. It will save you a lot of heartache down the road....even if they get upset with you.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I have 1 child at AV, 1 at HPMS. Pete commented, "Any tool to assist teachers to govern their classroom would be welcomed... by most students." Agree completely but, and I'm not splitting hairs about his statement, it goes further than that from the perspective of removing, or reducing, the negative impact it has on the overall campus environment and in some positive way lessening the peer pressure that is placed on these kids to use drugs. Listening to my son comment about the kids who we knew in elementary & middle school who are using drugs (some a surprise, some not) -if dogs are part of the toolbox to address the problem, then the sooner the better. Regarding the comment about "I envision kids with enemies hiding pot in a gym locker or a car. Maybe it's my joint that I was smoking in the car last night and my kid drove the car to school that day." Uh, it has my vote for Stupid Comment of the Year. Next time, please pause before opening your mouth to speak...


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Mr. Walsh,

I don't think the high schools have lockers anymore.


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm

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.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Pleasanton.


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Posted by LOL
a resident of Castlewood
on Dec 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm

"keeping drugs off campus" that's the funniest thing I have heard all day. 1/2 the seniors have medical weed cards at Anador and Foothill.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 22, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Does that mean that the school nurse is allowed to possess and administer the marijuana prescription on campus?


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Posted by Been There
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2011 at 1:13 am

If the dogs are coming on campus, I agree with Daniel that they need to be everywhere...in the administrative offices, board meeting rooms - everywhere. Because if you are going to make a decision like this, you need to subject yourself to it too.

Why would anyone on school grounds or part of the school community be above the law?

Board Members: If you are unwilling to do this to yourself, then don't do it to anyone else. In other words, if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

My guess is that there are more than a few adults in the school system who would go nuts if they knew drug sniffing dogs would be around them too.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2011 at 7:37 am

Bringing dogs to school will result in legal challenges, depends on how PUSD goes about forcing students to open cars if the unreliable dogs smell something (especially in a false alert situation)

That said, if they insist on bringing the dogs and are prepared for the legal battles that might follow, let's have the administration as well as board members have drug testing as condition for employment/continued board membership.

And let's have a dog "guarding" the board members' cars at all times.


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Posted by Concerned Foothill Parent
a resident of Val Vista
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:49 am

I am a Foothill parent, and last year would regularly pick up my kids on Oak Creek St. which backs the north side of Foothill high school. I witnessed several drug transactions between students and a gentleman that lives on the street, and called them in to the police. It was all done out in the open. My kids told me that students throw their backpacks over this gentleman's fence and he would put the drugs in them, and after school they would pick up the backpacks at his house. I couldn't believe that the 'resource' officer on campus wasn't more involved with this activity, and wasn't monitoring the edge of campus where this was happening. I also saw kids go up to his house and open a small door in his retaining wall, to check for drugs....must be his other drop zone. The police told me they were aware of this gentleman, and that the kids were recognizing their van. The police need to use different unidentifiable cars to catch these kids. I sat there daily and watched (and took photos of) all the drug activity. It would have been SO EASY to arrest those involved. I hope the dogs will help....check the north side by the teacher's parking lot.


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Posted by Crime Fighter
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:56 am

Is this about protecting the Kids? Or finding another thing for the Gestapo to do with their time? Can't we just agree that Pleasanton is a great town and stop looking for the .001% of the Bad? Can we find better ways to spend our time and money? The High Schooler's are gonna turn out just fine, already !!!!!!!!!


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Posted by Foothill Parent
a resident of Val Vista
on Dec 23, 2011 at 9:39 am

They should take the dogs on a walk through the greenbelt next to Foothill HS after school. They'll go crazy!!


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 23, 2011 at 9:43 am

Crime Fighter -looking for the .001% of the bad? Are you really that ignorant? Let's not worry about the problem the kids "are gonna turn out just fine". Try telling that to the family who have an adult who wanders the PV area because he did a little too many drugs 30 years ago -he's our walking DARE ad. Why would you advocate/accept that drugs are ok on the campus because kids will be kids? And you don't think our 'great town' is not going to be adversely affected by the crime that this brings? Runner up to Stupid Comment of the Year...


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 23, 2011 at 9:44 am

I did some research into this matter after my last post, and have learned that the accuracy of drug-sniffing dogs varies widely.

A well-trained drug-sniffing dog costs $6,000 to purchase. In controlled tests, well-trained drug-sniffing dogs working with experienced handlers had a 90% rate of accurate detection. 90% is enough to give police probable cause to conduct a search.

However, in "real life" situations, the drug-sniffing dogs have an accuracy rate of about 35%, which means they're wrong 2 out of 3 times. This means that a judge would suppress a search of a vehicle, person, or home because 35% is not high enough to give the police probable cause for a search.

What's more, Pleasanton is a small town, and a false accusation of being a "druggie" can really hurt a high school student. Imagine if the drug-sniffing dog alerted the police to drugs in your son's or your daughter's car (remember, the dogs only have a 35% accuracy rate) and the police don't find anything.

Based on my years of experience working with high schoolers, I can tell you that "they found drugs in so-and-so's car!" (even though the police didn't) will be all over campus in about five minutes and all over Pleasanton in about 15 minutes. One of Pleasanton's strengths is that it is a close-knit community, but that also means false rumors tend to travel fast and take on a life of their own.

So yes, the first time there's a "false positive" and the police damage a high school student's reputation, there will be lawsuits.

So: expensive drug-sniffing dogs, highly-paid police officers, lawyers billing at $500 an hour to defend the district against lawsuits, out-of-court settlements in the tens of thousands of dollars...does this sound like a good use of PUSD's scarce resources?

How about talking to the students, gaining their trust, and convincing them that allowing their friends to use and deal drugs is not a good idea? It wouldn't cost a penny and might actually work. Students at high school don't want to see their friends go to jail, but they do want them to get help for drug abuse problems. By taking this 100% law enforcement approach, the adults will just further alienate the teens when what we want to do is let them know we want to help them, not hurt them.

I know using the drug-sniffing dogs looks like PUSD is "doing something" but really, it's an easy way out of facing the problem--and as I wrote before, this doesn't address the issue of alcohol abuse among students, which is the #1 drug abuse problem on the high school campuses.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2011 at 11:04 am

"That said, if they insist on bringing the dogs and are prepared for the legal battles that might follow ..."

Agreed. I will use my personal money see to it that every legal challenge that can be brought against such a policy is brought. I will do anything in power to fight this.

Think this one through. It is a stupid policy and a poor substitute for good parenting and good teaching.

We live in the United States of America.


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Posted by member
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 23, 2011 at 11:47 am

This is not nearly enough to keep our kids safe. They need to do body cavity searches, install xray machines and metal detectors, take daily blood samples, hire full-time security guards for every student, embed RFID chips in their hands and mount cameras to their naughty little heads. You know, to keep them off drugs. I mean, parents have to work, you can't expect them to do it.

Please take more of my tax dollars and put it into this drug-free daycare, pretty please. We don't want these drug-crazed psychopathic doped-up doper kids to get all doped-up on dope and go on a killing spree because their eyes are red with rage. Not in MY neighborhood!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

And when they're done in the high school parking lots, send 'em over to the other local parking lots too: the library, city hall, grocery store, downtown, etc.


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Posted by Kiel
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm

"We want them to be a place for kids to come where they can feel safe"

Nothing says "safe environment for learning" quite like police dogs and armed cops checking through your lockers and cars!

Seriously parents, this idea is absolutely absurd. You want to stop Pleasanton kids from having drug problems? Stop handing them cash like it grows on trees! Give them a credit card to use (drug dealers don't take cards) or ask for receipts for all the money you give your kids. Better yet, *pay attention* to your child.

Whats next for Pleasanton high schools? Random drug tests for all students? Backpack searches?

Because let me point out: you aren't going to catch a single one of the "real problem" kids because if they get wind there's going to be drug dogs on campus, they're just going to cut class and go home. No one stores their pot in their gym locker; they keep it in altoid cases in their back packs.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Minty fresh maryjane!


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Posted by Prison Planet
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Maybe a new high school requirement should be a requirement for each inmate, um, I mean student, to do a series of essays:

"Dogs -- Man's Best Friend (especially for law enforcement."
"Big Brother is Watching You (while big brother's dog is sniffing you."
"My First Cavity Search"
"My First School Board Recall Effort"
"My First Deposition"


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Posted by unknown
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm

To some of the posters: Everyone of you were perfect in high school because I don't believe that for one bit. No one is perfect in the world!!!!!!!!!!


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Posted by Susie
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Do we need to lose another child to drugs. Get your head out of the sand. Open your eyes. I say bring the dogs to the campuses.


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Posted by Prison Planet
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Sure, let's pilot the program Live on TV at the school board meeting location (groups of dogs to sniff the superintendent and administrators and the school board president) and bring on the dogs at every televised board meeting. Can't wait to see this! Can't wait until one of the dogs 'alerts' on Live TV and becomes a viral video.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Susie,

The correct question to ask is: how effective have drug sniffing dogs been at preventing the loss of a child to drug abuse?


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Posted by Grandparent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm

In 1976 my son attended Amador and was stopped once with mj in his car. I got a call to let him spend an hour in a cell, then come pick in up....,.he was under age for anything, i.e.17.
He'a great dad, (they're out of area) and I'm so relieved his 18 year old boys don't use anything either.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Susie,

Why stop at dogs? Why not mandatory blood tests for students? Why not mandatory blood tests for parents? Why not search non-parents? Why not random home searches? I'm sure some of these kids stash their drugs at home. If we catch catch just one of them doesn't that make home searches worthwhile? There's a drug problem, so why stop at anything?


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I'll add that Jeff Hintzke's comment brings up a good point. All it takes is for someone who rides in the kid's car, anyone who possesses drugs, to leave the smallest residue in the car and he can be found guilty though he did nothing himself and had no knowledge of the drugs being there. Prosecuting the innocent is not the solution to our drug problem. By all means, investigate and prosecute drug use at our high schools when there is reasonable suspicion. Just don't presume guilt and don't threaten those who have committed no crime. These are serious matters. Let's take them seriously. You should also take my threat seriously. I will bring a legal challenge to this policy should it be put into effect, and that could get very expensive for PUSD.

I implore everyone to spend some time studying our constitution and review the history of and the philosophy under which our nation was founded. Using drug sniffing dogs in this way is just wrong.


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Posted by Mrs JJJ
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I don't understand why the dogs are apparently not going to enter the actual classrooms. I was present when drug-sniffing dogs were brought into a school in another district and classrooms were searched, too. The dogs weren't taken into every classroom, just some, but the search took place during just one lesson and definitely came as a surprise to both students and staff. Students waited outside the room, but were not allowed to take their belongings out of the room.

It seemed to me to be an effective system. I noticed that the students took it unusually seriously, and it seemed to me to have a rather noticeable deterrent effect.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Mrs. JJJ:

The 9th circuit court has already ruled that sniffing of a student is considered a search, and therefore, searching/sniffing students without a warrant or probable cause is a violation of the student's 4th amendment rights.

I am not sure which school you were at, but it is not uncommon for people in lower income communities to be unaware of the rights or to have the means to fight for them.

Luckily, this is Pleasanton and not only do we know our legal rights but we have the means to hire lawyers.

Violate my kids' rights and you will be sued, period. And I am sure we can get some sort of collective lawsuit, with the ACLU involved, as it happened already in the state of Washington


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Mrs. JJJ:

The 9th circuit court has already ruled that sniffing of a student is considered a search, and therefore, searching/sniffing students without a warrant or probable cause is a violation of the students' 4th amendment rights.

I am not sure which school you were at, but it is not uncommon for people in lower income communities to be unaware of their rights or to have the means to fight for them.

Luckily, this is Pleasanton and not only do we know our legal rights, but we have the means to hire lawyers.

Violate my kids' rights and you will be sued, period. And I am sure we can get some sort of collective lawsuit, with the ACLU involved, as it happened already in the state of Washington


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Before unleashing the lawyers, why not try something simpler if you feel strongly about this issue: attend the January 10th meeting of the PUSD School Board and voice your objections (or support, if that's the case) for the drug-sniffing dogs to be used as proposed. This change is something the Board is considering, not something the Board has approved. The best way to handle this change is to stop it before it happens, because once something is set in motion, it becomes much more difficult to undo.

In the meantime, here's some illuminating reading:

Web Link


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Posted by justathought
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Dec 24, 2011 at 3:58 am

I've read several posts quoting different case laws and have seen the mention of the ACLU in regards to lawsuits. Just curious, has the District Attorney been contacted on this matter? Who would know better about the CA case laws then the DA? Just curious what they would say about drug sniffing dogs being used on school campuses?


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Posted by Greg
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 24, 2011 at 4:54 am

1. Anyone else wondering if the Hintzke comment caused some marital problems? LOL [Portion removed because it presented false information]

2. False alarms? The dog smells dope in the kid's locker so they open it up and don't find any......case closed.....on to the next locker. Your kid isn't going to get busted cuz the dog had a panic attack near his locker.

3. I guarantee you there are a hell of a lot more drugs on campus than most people realize and that doesn't exclude the teachers. The cops are doing what they should be doing and looking for progressive ways to fight the problems currently faced at the schools.

We live in a city with a pretty proactive police department. News stories are constantly reporting nothing but good news about them. Let them do their thing and if you find out your kid's smoking dope because a dog found it in their locker then be thankful for the head's up. I don't know Mrs. Hintzke and I'm willing to bet this article was not written they way she would have like it to be but I think her husband should probably stay away from the school board meetings if she plans to get re-elected.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 24, 2011 at 8:31 am

I would bet money that those parents protesting so vigorously about lawsuits would find their little darlings guilty of possession. What about a little sniffing around their homes? Wanna bet how much stash the dogs would find there? When you protest so loudly the right for a search it makes the rest of us wonder what you are hiding.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 24, 2011 at 8:51 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"2. False alarms? The dog smells dope in the kid's locker so they open it up and don't find any......case closed.....on to the next locker. Your kid isn't going to get busted cuz the dog had a panic attack near his locker."

You really don't have much care or respect towards the innocent kid who gets treated like a criminal and searched because the dog gave a false indication, do you?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 24, 2011 at 8:57 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Downtown resident,

Yea, anyone who is against drug dog sniffing MUST be guilty! Next up will be mandatory drug tests and strip searches. The guilty ones will out themselves by complaining about it while the innocent will (removed).


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Posted by concerned
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 24, 2011 at 9:00 am

It's another way to get rid of "peer pressure" and "bullying". When you try to do the right thing and are degraded because you don't want to do drugs, why not try a new way to make all kids safe at school.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 24, 2011 at 9:28 am

Amador and Foothill... debating teams... finest in state... I would pay to see... support education... Stacey could be opening act as comedian... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 24, 2011 at 9:32 am

" open it up and don't find any......case closed.....on to the next "

Not true. All it takes is the smallest bit of residue, a fragment of seed or leaf, and the student can be found guilty even though he/she had never used, bought, or sold drugs.

"It seemed to me to be an effective system."

There are many effective systems that are also illegal and overreaching. The Soviets had an effective system for dealing with dissidents.

Count on lawsuits if this policy goes into effect.


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Posted by patriotmyarse
a resident of Civic Square
on Dec 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Patriot-
FYI...It is not illegal to possess a marijuana seed or leaf. Ever heard of Hemp products...the igornance of some people


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm

"FYI...It is not illegal to possess a marijuana seed or leaf."

It most certainly is. Where do you get your information? Show me the definition of possession of marijuana. How much can be found before it is considered possession?

Nazi enforcement tactics are no substitute for effective parenting.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm

"FYI...It is not illegal to possess a marijuana seed or leaf."

You need to be focused on being a good parent and teaching your children to say no to drugs. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Do you just let them run riot and do as they please without fear of consequences? What kind of parent are you?

When you've finished looking up the penalty for possession of 28.5 grams or less of marijuana on school grounds, you're welcome to come back and reply. You talk of ignorance when you haven't clue about what you talk.

If PUSD is crazy enough to go ahead with a scheme like this, they will find themselves in such legal trouble that it will take them 3 parcel taxes to pay for it. And I wouldn't count on passing those taxes after a fiasco like that.

Prosecuting the innocent is a crime.

Merry Christmas.


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Posted by patriotmyarse
a resident of Civic Square
on Dec 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Patriot-
I looked it up and possession of marijuana on school campus is considered a misdemeanor. For it to be marijuana it needs to be the marijuana "bud" not the leaf or seed. Maybe you should do some research. Find a case for me please where someone was arrested for possessing a marijuana seed or "leaf" and I'll recant my statement...happy hunting!


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2011 at 9:27 pm

" Find a case for me please where someone was arrested for possessing a marijuana seed or "leaf""

Not finding a case proves nothing. How would you like to be the first person prosecuted and found guilty for possession of a leaf or seed and not have done anything wrong?

"For it to be marijuana it needs to be the marijuana "bud" not the leaf or seed."

Show me a link to such a law, and I'll be happy to correct my earlier statement. In any case what difference would that make? A "bud" could just as easily wind up in an innocent students car as a leaf or seed. Again we are prosecuted the innocent.

Please show me the law that says possession of marijuana leaves and seeds on schools campuses is perfectly legal. As I say, I'll be happy to correct my statement. I'll eagerly await your reply. In the mean time, don't count on parcel tax money from me.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Im sorry but Marijuana buds do not "accidentally" end up in someone's car. We are so concerned about the what ifs you miss the real issue of problems with drugs at school and deny the reality. Just like the parcel tax comment!


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Posted by Legal Info
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Drug sniffing Dogs at California Schools

Basics:

1.) A canine sniff of property is not a search under the Fourth Amendment.

2.) There does not need to be prior reasonable suspicion prior to the canine sniff.

3.) A positive alert from a trained Narcotics Detector Dog gives reasonable suspicion to the presence of narcotics. This reaction gives the handler probable cause for a warrant.

4.) School officials need reasonable suspicion to search a student or their property. A canine alert is that reasonable suspicion.

5.) School officials do not need a warrant to conduct the search.


Courts are divided about the reasonableness of canine student searches, however two out of three state that a canine sniff of a person is a search. A canine sniff of a student requires reasonable suspicion. Only a "passive alert" dog should be used. (Note: The majority of law enforcement agencies do not use K9's to sniff/search people for narcotic detection in any circumstance.)


A) New Jersey v T.L.O. (469 U.S. 325 (1985) U. S. Supreme Court.

Even though this is not a canine case, the United States Supreme Court held that: 1. School searches fall under the Fourth Amendment's reasonableness standard. 2. School officials do not need a warrant to search a student or their property. 3. School officials do not need probable cause to search; the legality of a search of a student should depend simply on the reasonableness, under all the circumstances of the search (reasonable suspicion).


B) United States v Place (462 U.S. 696 (1983) U. S. Supreme Court.

Exposing a person's property, which is located in a public place, to the sniff of a trained narcotics detecting dog is not a search under the Fourth Amendment.


C) United States v Sokolow (490 U.S. 1 (1988) U. S. Supreme Court.

A sniff from a Narcotic Detector Dog and a positive alert provides probable cause to obtain a search warrant for property.


D) United States v Solis (536 F. 2d 880 (1976) Ninth Circuit.

1. Evidence acquired by odor so detected may furnish evidence of probable cause. 2. Drug Agent's use of a Narcotic Detector Dog to detect narcotics odor and then obtain search warrant, was not a search under the Fourth Amendment.


E) United States v Maldonado-Espinosa (968 F. 2d 101 (1992) First Circuit.

A drug-sniffing dog's positive alert to a person's property provided probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant.


F) Doe v Renfrow (631 F. 2d 91 (1980) Seventh Circuit.

1. Detention of student for 1-1/2 hours was not an unreasonable seizure. 2. Entry by school officials and uniformed police officers into each classroom with the intent to locate drugs was not a search. 3. Walking up aisles and sniffing by a narcotics detector dog did not violate students' right. 4. Upon a canine alert, there was no violation of student's rights by ordering her to empty pockets onto her desk. 5. Nude search of student based solely upon a canine alert after she emptied her pockets was unreasonable.


G) Zamora v Pomeroy (639 F. 2d 662 (1981) Tenth Circuit.

1. A warrantless search of school lockers conducted by trained police dogs was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, even when no reasonable suspicion existed. 2. Where school had assumed joint control of student's locker and where school authorities conducted warrantless search of lockers after trained police dogs indicated the presence of drugs, there was no search under the Fourth Amendment.


H) Horton v Goose Creek Independent School District (690 F. 2d 470 (1982) Fifth Circuit.

1. Police dogs' sniffing of student lockers in public hallways and automobiles parked on public parking lots did not constitute a search. 2. Dogs' sniffing of students' persons could not be justified without reasonable cause. 3. Canine searches of students' persons could not be justified without reasonable cause. 4. The standard of reasonable cause for school officials is less stringent than that applicable to law enforcement, but requires more than good faith. 5. If, as a result of canine sniff searches of students' cars and lockers, school had reasonable cause to suspect presence of contraband, no warrant is required to search. 6. Minimal harassment arising from the mere presence of dogs on campus was not unreasonable.


I) Hearn v Board of Public Education (191 F. 3d 1329 (1999) Eleventh Circuit.

A search of a teacher's automobile resulting from a random parking lot sweep by officers, where a narcotics dog alerted to the teacher's automobile gave probable cause to enter and search the interior.

This alert also gave reasonable suspicion of possible drug use by teacher, so that termination of teacher for refusing to take a drug test after discovery of marijuana in her vehicle was reasonable.


J) John F. Dengg v State of Ohio (Case No. 97-P-0113) (132 Ohio App. 3d 360; 724 N.E.2d 1255; 1999 Ohio App. LEXIS 851).

Police K9's were requested by Streetsboro, Ohio, school officials to conduct a search for illicit contraband at Streetsboro High School, a public high school, and were deployed to the high school parking lots as part of that exercise.

The police had probable cause to search the automobile driven by the appellee to school because a police K9 alerted it handler to the presence of drug odor when it sniffed the exterior of the appellee's vehicle.

Under the rule of law pronounced in the cases of Place, Waldroup, Palicki, French and Riley, the use of a drug sniffing dog to detect the presence of the odor of contraband by sniffing the exterior of an object is not a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.

Once the K9 alerted to the odor of drugs, the police had probable cause to conduct a search of appellee's automobile. Finally, pursuant to the holding in Ross, once the police officers had acquired the requisite of probable cause, they could conduct a warrantless search of appellee's vehicle under the "automobile exception".


J) B.C. v Plumas Unified School District (192 F. 3d 1260 (1999) Ninth Circuit.

1. The close proximity sniffing of the person is offensive whether the sniffer be canine or human. Because the dog sniff infringed on a person's reasonable expectation of privacy, we hold that it constitutes a search. 2. A random and suspicionless dog sniff search of a person is unreasonable.


Suggested flow chart of school searches of property:

1.) School official requests random K-9 sniff of property.

2.) Law enforcement conducts K-9 sniff.

3.) Positive alert from K-9.

4.) Established probable cause for the officer and reasonable suspicion for the school official.

5.) School official conducts a warrantless search.

6.) The student suspect is dealt with administratively (also dependant upon what and how much contraband is found) by the school official and/or the school official requests criminal prosecution through law enforcement.


Closing: It is highly recommended to conduct an assembly at each school where K9 teams will be used in order to introduce and educate the students, parents (if school permits them to attend) and faculty about law enforcement K9 teams and the school system's proactive approach to a problem found in all schools. The assembly would only need to be approximately 45 minutes, depending on the size of the audience and if the school would permit questions from the student body during the assembly. We actually encourage questions to us. We would have several law enforcement K9 teams present for the assembly to give a quick demonstration as to how the K9 teams work.


Remember:

1.) K9's are not used to search people/students. Law Enforcement does not condone this.

2.) K9's are not brought in or used for Intimidation.

3.) K9's are not a total answer or solution for drug problems.

4.) K9's are one part of the multifaceted answer and are in fact proactive when used in schools in a professional and positive manner on a regular basis in a non disruptive manner.

5.) Students have a "right" to attend and learn in a safe, drug free school.

6.) Schools are not and cannot be a safe haven for drug users and dealers.


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Posted by Legal Info
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 25, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Does The Fourth Amendment Prohibit Public Schools From Using Dogs To Search Without Individualized Suspicion?
TODD FEINBERG* (Large portion removed because the post was too long. Editors suggest including a link in such cases.)


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2011 at 9:54 am

"Im sorry but Marijuana buds do not "accidentally" end up in someone's car."

I'm sorry but they do. They most definitely can. It is quite common for kids to car pool to school. All is takes is one kid in the car with his plastic bag that's not sealed. If we ruin one innocent kid's life, that is one too many.

No one is denying that there is a drug problem. Short sighted, and morally wrong responses are not the solution. This is the United States of America.

Put this policy into effect and count on legal action against PUSD. I will see to it personally.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2011 at 10:28 am

Patriot, not paying a parcel tax noted... better parenting noted... United States of America noted... no one is denying that there is a drug problem... noted... If we(why put we)ruin one innocent kid's life... that is way over the top Patriot. You make nothing but child arguments! Lay out the plan of action, Patriot. Read the article again... your over the top nonsense deters any action... at all.


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Posted by contrarian
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 26, 2011 at 11:05 am

Re: Legal Info

Just copy/pasted your comment into word for later reading. The first thing I noticed was:

<b>

3.) A positive alert from a trained Narcotics Detector Dog gives reasonable suspicion to the presence of narcotics. This reaction gives the handler probable cause for a warrant.

4.) School officials need reasonable suspicion to search a student or their property. A canine alert is that reasonable suspicion.

</b>

Seems to me given the inaccuracy of the dogs in real life situations, as pointed out by Daniel earlier in the comments, that we are accepting far too many false positives in the hopes of catching the bad guys. Whatever happened to letting 100 guilty go free in order to not convict an innocent person?

Personally, I object to this further bubblefication of Pleasanton because you can't expect the police and their dogs to do your jobs!!!

Your kids will be going to college in a few years, and there won't be any police with drug dogs roaming around. If you want to protect your kids, educate them, and stop giving them money and spoiling them rotten.

The kids that bring drugs to school will weed themselves out, and end up at Village anyways. This cycle has been established long before your perfect little children got to high school age. Bringing dogs into the school is a band-aid, if you want to really solve the problem, implement random drug testing and room searches. OR, you could just parent them and give them the knowledge and support they need to navigate outside of the Pleasanton bubble.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm

" Lay out the plan of action, Patriot."

With all due respect, that isn't my job. Our taxes are paying the six figure salaries and very generous retirement plans for our school administrators to lay out a plan. My job as a concerned citizen is to alert the community when the district oversteps its authority or threatens the rights of citizens.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Patriot, I can accept that answer... but your argument only appears to me to be a judgement already accepted by you and not up for debate. Give it a chance to proceed in the manner in which it is intended. It isn't your job... your right.


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Posted by Think
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Dec 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm

During the 70s and early 80s, most everyone smoked weed on occasion.
It was WEED, relatively harmless. From an affluent community I can tell you that the vast majority went on to college and to lucrative careers and well adjusted adults.

"Weed" smokers are NOT kids from broken homes and uneducated homes without the parental supervision and education discussed here. MANY very athletic and above averaqe achievers smoke a little weed.OFTEN, these kids are from the MOST affluent and educated homes, with a pocket full of CASH!

TODAY, the "weed" is OFTEN laced with OXY, other chemicals, heroin, methadone etc. MANY kids are relatively innocently THINKING they are smoking a little weed, doing well in sports, and holding their grades.

Kids today are becoming addicted to opiates, ie: HEROIN without even knowing it. It takes over and ruins kids lives and families.

Ask PPD, Santa Rita Jail increasingly is housing kids of upper crust families.Formerly athletic and popular kids, former achievers.

OXY, presciption drugs, , XTC, methadone and heroin are VERY popular
with todays youth. NO ADDICTED child started out thinking that they would become addicted and ruin their lives.

Pleasanton has an epidemic. If ONE kid can be found and an appropriate intervention is put in place, the dogs on campus will have been priceless.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Lots of students are going to be busted...be patient.

Don't be surprised many are doing more than just "experimenting".

Many are addicted.


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Posted by Questionning the timing
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 27, 2011 at 10:14 am

I am not saying that Pleasanton doesn't have a drug issue in its schools. I also think that there are many parents into it as well, which is where some of the students get it. I personally have no issue with drug sniffing dogs, but I do have a couple of concerns using this method AT THIS TIME.

1. The legality of this method and it's reliability is still in question and making its way through the judicial system and scientific community. That in itself should raise red flags to PUSD board and administration. Jumping on a bandwagon DOES NOT make it right. I predict this will be like other decisions in the recent past that were on shakey legal ground that are costing PUSD much in fees/fines and in community trust. I know for a fact that there will be at least one civil suit, if not having the ACLU down on us.

2. I also question the timing of this program. PUSD has been cutting costs everywhere because of budget cuts. We did not bring these dogs in during the "boom" period. I really believe it is NOT money well spent at this current time. Yes, we have a drug problem, but it is no worse now than it was 10 years ago. The monies spent on the dogs should go for classes or services. Having more counsellors helping students deal with peer pressure, bullying, stress, etc. would go further keeping kids off drugs that having drug dogs come through the schools 3x a year.


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Posted by All for it!
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Dec 27, 2011 at 11:13 am

Wake up Pleasanton people!! This whole tri valley is loaded with drugs and beyond!! If the Dogs are able to help keep the schools cleaner then more power to cleaning up this town and saving a child's life. If it was your sweet child who "you" never thought would use and ended up addicted and then guess what he or she is! Don't you wish you spoke up for this. Don't be a fool and play the would of could of should of before it's to late!!! I know several families hiding of shame and living like they don't have someone in there family because they are living like they are perfect or to much shame. If you don't think people don't know guess what they do. Go Dogs Go!!!


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 28, 2011 at 2:27 am

I happen to know that there is a parent at Foothill High (well, there's only one that I know of) who is a very active ACLU member and is just waiting for PUSD to implement this policy.

Implementing this policy is a guarantee of tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. I didn't realize that PUSD solved its financial crisis since I left last school year and now has cash to burn. Good to know.


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Posted by transplant
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 28, 2011 at 8:50 am

We are transplants to the area. My son is a sophomore at FHS. I don't know too much about drugs and alcohol at FHS except for what he told me. He told me that while there were drugs at our other school (which was in a similar socio-economic demographic), he feels there are more drugs here in Pleasanton. As he said, "Duh, Mom. It's California. They want to make it legal to smoke weed here." He noted to me that he thought that more kids tried drugs earlier here. Most of his friends here tried pot prior to high school, compared to his previous school where very few friends (if any...I'm not sure) tried pot in middle school. I am not saying that all kids here are potheads or drug addicts. I am just saying that HIS feeling is that there are more durgs here and kids start earlier. That said, there are plenty of good kids here and not everyone is a drug user.

Drugs are everywhere, but his comments lead me to believe it is a little more of an issue here. Kids at Foothill are under ALOT of pressure to succeed. This comes from all places: parents, teachers and even other students. Maybe this is the reason? I don't know.

Our previous school had drug sniffing dogs. They did sweeps (lock downs) every once in a while (mostly on tips) and they found things. It wasn't traumatic except for the kids that they found drugs on. There were no lawsuits. At the beginning of the year students were reminded that once you came on the school campus, any of your property is searchable (backpacks, purses and cars). It is what it is... no one sued. No one called the ACLU. You may not like the policy but bringing in costly lawsuits doesn't seem to be a productive solution, either.

The dogs may not be perfect. NOTHING is perfect. But let's let our kids know that drugs are not allowed.


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Posted by Bump
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 29, 2011 at 8:50 am

Bump...

Theres two DOG SNIFF threads...


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Posted by Parent to Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2011 at 10:12 am

Be careful what you wish for when giving away your child's civil liberties.

It does not help that a student at a PUSD high school was found to be innocent of a false allegation. The false allegation gave school administration the excuse they wanted to search the student's vehicle. A multi-use-tool that is primarily a screwdriver and pliers but has a small fold out army knife blade was in the glove box. This innocent tool that I put in all family members Xmas stockings (surprise, a felony on a school campus even when locked in a car glovebox) began a nightmare that has not ended. The draconian abuse of power is truly frightening.
To all parents who think their child innocent with nothing to fear.... think again.
I too would like all drugs off school campuses, but I could never support this action having lived our nightmare.


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