Pubdate: Wed, 28 Jan 2004
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Province
Author: Kirk Tousaw


The Surrey School Board's plan to bring drug dogs into the schools, at $275 
a sniff, is deeply flawed.

The idea is incredibly invasive of student privacy. If we continue to treat 
our young people as potential criminals, when the vast majority will do 
nothing wrong, they will live down to our expectations.

And we don't really want to follow U.S.-style tactics on this issue, do we?

I suspect that most of the students who run afoul of the drug laws do so 
because they sometimes use marijuana. Do we really want to saddle more of 
our young people with criminal records for engaging in a relatively 
harmless activity that, by all accounts, almost half the population of 
Canada has both participated in and wants to see legalized?

Sure, young people should not be doing drugs, particularly in school. But 
the drastic penalty of criminal prosecution is overkill.

And sending in the dogs is absurd. Of course, by now we shouldn't be 
surprised when the Surrey School Board adopts absurd and expensive 
policies: This is the same school board that spent hundreds of thousands of 
taxpayer dollars unsuccessfully fighting to keep a few gay-positive books 
out of its schools.

Kirk Tousaw, policy director B.C. Civil Liberties Association
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