Pubdate: Fri, 26 Dec 2003
Source: Alliston Herald (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Steven J. Day


At first I read your coverage on the local high school drug raids and just 
shook my head. But then I became outright enraged as I read further. The 
editorial talks about "Five others who clearly thought either their stashes 
wouldn't be found or were simply worth too much, decided to take their 
chances in the raid and are now facing criminal charges."

How about five others who believe in innocent until proven guilty in a 
court of law and the right to an attorney?

The OPP gave the kids the choice to hand over the drugs or face charges, so 
I guess they are just going to circumvent the courts altogether?

The Safe Schools Act seems to be a way to forego students' rights. The 
editorial ends with, "there undoubtedly will be some parents out there with 
good children who will balk at the inconvenience of such a raid."

Parents should balk at the of inconvenience of such a raid! Maybe they 
believe that their children are entitled to personal freedom and individual 
rights, or that they don't deserve to lose two hours of class time every 
other week.

All the police will say is that a "significant" amount of drugs were 
seized. What amount of drugs made this worth it? If this is such a threat, 
why not let the public know the amount? Are these students gong to face 
expulsion and have their lives ruined because of the mistakes they make as 
a teenager? Zero tolerance doesn't work.

Speaking of what doesn't work, the editorial points out that in spite of 
the raid across the street from Banting one week earlier, students still 
brought drugs with them to school. I think that proves that random raids 
obviously aren't deterrents!

Police officers insist that the drug problem in our schools is small. 
Twenty-nine students at Banting were found with drugs, so the other 1771 
should have to suffer this major inconvenience? Banting's principal talks 
about how cooperating will help them "make better choices." How?

To give in to authority figures and not challenge a system that could be 
wrong? To not have their case heard in a court of law? To realize that they 
check their rights at the door when they enter a school?

Debbie Clarke from the Simcoe County Board District School Board said "the 
joint operations are now fairly routine."

Fairly routine?

Students' aren't prisoners. They should not be subjected to random 
interruption of their learning environment for a crack down on less than 
one per cent of students.

In the US such raids are being deemed unconstitutional and several parents 
are seeking legal action against the police and the school boards. I hope 
parents up here consider the same course of action.

Lawsuits seem to be the only thing schools boards understand these days.

Steven J. Day,

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