*Note: This post was written Saturday afternoon
It’s been a little more than 24 hours since the news broke: Amity High School used drug sniffing dogs to sweep the building. Now the rumor mill is going. This blog is meant to be my opinion on the events clarifying as much as possible. Personally, it wasn’t a bad thing that this happened but that doesn’t mean I think that this was a success.
The dogs sent a message to the students: the school isn’t kidding when they say that they will bring drug sniffing dogs in if need be.
The concept of drug sniffing dogs was introduced to the students in early March. Here we are, end of April the vast majority of students forgot that this was a card the school could play. The student body, as far as I could tell, did not have any advanced warning that this was going to happen. The Amity Administration is smart enough not to tell students that on April 29th there would be drug sniffing dogs in the school. There were no hints, no inklings, no change in attitude that would tip the student body onto this.
Hell, I had a meeting with the principal, Dr. Charles Britton, yesterday morning. Did he say, “Oh, by the way, at 9:45 six drug sniffing dogs and a slew of uniformed officers would bombard the school.” No, he did not nor did any of the administrators. It is ridiculous to even suggest that would happen.
Some have said that the Administration told kids they were bringing drug sniffing dogs to Amity on Friday, April 29th. Let’s think about that for just one minute. These are educators with more experience than sometimes given credit for. None of them are fresh out of college, first job administrators. All four have had prior teaching jobs and, I think, all have been administrators for at least 15 years or administrators in a different school than Amity High prior to this. While some of my peers might not believe it, the administrators and teachers care for us, including our health and wellbeing. Why on Earth would they tip kids off to this?
They’re not looking to get the kids arrested, they’re looking to get kids off the wrong path. The parents that are speculating that they told the students are being counter productive, and frankly, I’m surprised.
The only notice the kids had was that the school had the right to bring drug sniffing dogs into the school. This was made clear to them on March 22nd during the Advisory period. As far as I know the only reason why they had to make it so clear was because it wasn’t published in the student handbook that is given to each student and they sign a page saying they agree to follow the policies written in the book.
On the same token, some students have questioned if the schools has the right to arrest any students that have drugs in their car. I’m no lawyer, but yes. They can for several reasons. First, every student signs that slip of paper agreeing not to bring drugs or alcohol onto school property and that the school may conduct reasonable searches. I’m not sure what constitutes reasonable searches, but I’m sure a drug sniffing dog smelling the lockers, cars, and classroom doors is fair.
Students do not have the right to park on campus, it is a privilege and in my opinion, if you’re storing illegal substances in your car, say ‘goodbye’ to your parking pass.
Now to the more newsworthy item -- the arrest made. Daniel Cote is not, from what I know, a bad kid. I know it’s been said before about a variety of people, but he’s a good guy that made some bad choices. Are there students that use drugs more than him, probably, but I can’t speak to how often he was in contact with the drugs. All I know is that he had the drugs, a scale, packaging materials, and cash. Does that make him a dealer? It sounds like it, but he’s innocent until proven guilty, as we all are.
The fact that Amity had to bring in a drug dog is upsetting. Is this so rare? No. Other schools do it much more often than once in a blue moon. Let’s not play Chicken Little in this community and think our phenomenal school has fallen to junior drug lords. Why? Because it hasn’t.
Amity has always had drugs in it. Sad, but true. Every school has drugs in it, regardless of the wealth, size, or structure of the community. Drugs find their way in. Instead of sitting in front of the computer saying how bad Amity is, get up and make a difference!
I’m in no position to tell people what to do, but get involved in the community. If you’re not only active in your child’s life but the life of others, you might see -- Amity isn’t so bad. Come watch our sports teams, see the plays, musical concerts, and read about all the great things that my peers do.
http://www.amityregion5.org/District_Page/BOE_Policies/StudentIndex.pdf -- Drug Policy is 5131.6(a)