July 22, 2011

Madison public schools may deploy drug-sniffing dogs.

The proposed K9 sweeps will take place outside of school hours, when students are in classes, and when there are "exigent circumstances."

There's a FAQ at the link. Excerpt:
Will the dogs sniff employees’ desks and belongings too?

Typically desks are not in school common areas such as hallways and storage facilities....

Won't certain groups of students be unfairly targeted for drug sweeps? How will you prevent racial and ethnic bias in conducting checks?
Hey, that's easy. Don't use a racist dog!

By the way, I completely support this program. I'd even be fine with the dogs sniffing the employees' desks. The state compels children to go to school, and most people meet this requirement by accepting the public schools. Obviously, dangerous criminal activity in schools should be solved. What about the students who are just carrying small amounts of marijuana to school? As the FAQ says:
Prevention of drug-related offenses is one way to keep students on the right track and reverse negative patterns. The potential for getting caught deters students from bringing drugs to school.
That's just one more thing to learn, kids.

60 comments:

Scott M said...

Hey, that's easy. Don't use a racist dog!

LOL

Are teachers in WI themselves subject to random drug screening?

Fred4Pres said...

But dogs in school are fun.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

My high school (mid-90's, county school in TN) had drug dog visits on a regular basis. We rarely saw them; they just went around sniffing lockers while classes were going on, but I remember hearing that they were there several times a year. I assume that some students had a more up close visit with them, if they had reasons to suspect drugs, but it always seemed to me that as long as you weren't dumb enough to leave it in your locker, you would be fine. (And, of course, lockers wouldn't show race.)

I always thought that it was normal in high schools.

- Lyssa

george said...

Since everyone in WI is not just white but pasty white I don't think racial animus will be much of a problem. But any kid who supports the governor had better keep his nose clean.

Shouting Thomas said...

Is the school district responding to a problem that actually exists?

Or, are they just gung ho for no apparent reason?

5ac81c9e-a3ec-11e0-ad71-000bcdcb8a73 said...

The students should form a public sector union. Make a few campaign donations, endorse some Democratic Party politicians, form an alliance with WEA, AFSCME, and the SEIU, and get themselves recognized as a collective bargaining unit.

Then, they'd have a good chance of killing this proposal, and keeping their bags of pot in their lockers.

In the true spirit of public employee unionism.

Fred4Pres said...

Drug sniffing cats, however, would be crazy. Use them for driver's ed.

Curious George said...

What Madison really needs are gang sniffing dogs.

Or maybe just get there head out of their asses.

Hagar said...

Well, it also ought to be lots of fun to bring some pot to school and put it in someone else's locker, or perhaps in the teacher's desk, and with the average intelligence displayed by public school administrators in this country, the ensuing circuses should provide some much needed additional income for defense lawyers!

Helen said...

How are they going to accommodate students who are allergic to dogs? In cases of severe allergy, exposure to a dog is potentially life-threatening. An affected student should not have to be exposed to that risk in order to attend a public school.

jimbino said...

In the interests of liberty, someone needs to come up with a scent that disables a dog's nose. Either that or one that mimics THC that we can spray on the fascists' possessions.

t-man said...

I'm not opposed to drug sniffing dogs per se, but if enough students got together to create a multitude of "false positives", by rubbing pot on backpacks and such, but not actually having drugs on them at school, wouldn't the program eventually be dropped?

That's another way for the kids to learn.

ndspinelli said...

That's racist. We have a string of many strong armed robberies in Madison. The suspects are black, but they are not identified as such. The police and tv stations ask for leads and tips..but don't mention the race.

When I would receive a new assignment for surveillance I could often tell by the name or neighborhood the race of the subject. If the person was obviously Hispanic or black I would simply ask my client, "Is he black, is she Hispanic?" I would often get a very uncomfortable,"Ah..well yes, I believe so." I'm just trying to identify the sob..I'm not casting aspersions. I have a son who is Colombian. so..that's why I say, "That's racist" whenever I get the chance. A kind of back door to open discussion of race. I'll step off my soapbox now.

ndspinelli said...

Oh..isn't this an affront to Muslim students..that's racist!

madAsHell said...

When I was in high school, I never kept reefers in my locker. My locker partner would have ripped me off.

I kept it in my shirt pocket.

Carol_Herman said...

How about the kids who wear gold chains around their necks? And, always seem to have cash. And, cell phones (on vibration) ... because you don't want to lose your dealing arm?

If kids are getting high at school, wouldn't the teachers notice? What about the drugs that's kept in the nurse's office?

Can you still get in trouble if you carry Mydol?

Seems to be if you're going to be using dogs ... then you're spooking kids about dogs for no reason at all. Why not just ask the teachers to check out which students don't seem to be paying attention? And, who aren't participating in class?

School have too much money ... or the police in Madison do! Why weren't the dogs outside the Rotunda sniffing pizza boxes?

MadisonMan said...

Yes, we got a robo call about this yesterday. I have no problem with it and am vaguely surprised it wasn't already occurring.

Drugs are everywhere at the High School. This will just get them out of the school and into the parked cars.

sorepaw said...

Another reason (in case more were needed) to get governments out of the schooling business.

Every year, public K-12 gets more like a correctional facility.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"....How will you prevent racial and ethnic bias in conducting checks?..."

Easy, check lockers of students of Swedish AND Norwegian descent.

edutcher said...

Hmmm...

God forbid, you have police dogs sniffing out union teachers' teen porn.

Ann Althouse said...

Don't use a racist dog!

No such thing, but different races have different basic smells, which is why dogs in a white neighborhood go berserk when a black person walks through, and vice versa.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Carol Herman: Can you still get in trouble if you carry Mydol?

The introduced zero tolerance when I was in early HS, and, although I don't know of anyone who this happened to (and I, one could argue quite stupidly, always carried something in case of a headache), the official penalty for carrying any OTC drugs, Tylenol, Midol, etc, was immediate and unqualified expulsion.

I'm not saying that it makes sense, but those were the rules.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

They introduced zero tolerance . . .

MadisonMan said...

I am kinda curious what might constitute an exigent circumstance. Sounds like a vague phrase that could be stretched to include just about anything.

traditionalguy said...

I love the image of racist dogs.

That sounds like movie images of blood hounds searching for chain gang escapees.

Madison will also be required to hire a large staff of certified racist dog re-trainers, who will need office space, cars, Administrators and support staff, all on high salaries and pensions with early retirement bonuses.

Scary things demand a Government Agency!

DADvocate said...

In my observation, the laws and rules are sometimes enforced according to who the parents are. Offspring of local officials and such get a slap on the wrist.

In the early 80's the county schools (Knox Co, TN), including my old high school that my youngest sister was attending at the time, in conjunction with the sheriff's deparment planted undercover cops. Out of about a dozen schools, the only one they didn't make a bust at was my alma mater.

They blamed the lack of a bust on cliquishnes. They couldn't admit, that maybe there wasn't a problem. My sister said the undercover cops acted like obnoxious jerks and nobody wanted anything to do with them.

rhhardin said...

Dogs can detect the opening of food containers from several rooms away too.

edutcher said...

MadisonMan said...

I am kinda curious what might constitute an exigent circumstance. Sounds like a vague phrase that could be stretched to include just about anything.

Steny Hoyer said the same thing about why he dislikes the idea of a balanced budget amendment.

AJ Lynch said...

Is drug use a big problem in Madison schools? Or is this a case where the police dept has a sizable budget so they said let's spend some money on expensive drug-sniffing dogs?

jacksonjay said...

I'v been a classroom teacher (high school) for 31 years in Texas. We have dogs sniff lockers and random classrooms every year. Students leave the room, backpacks and belongings remain in the classroom and Rover does his work. (Ann, I guess it could be her work?)

A couple of years ago an Hispanic student was dragged out after one of these searches. He was taken downstairs, searched and returned to class before the end of the period! Wow! "What did they find?" " Nothing!"

Had an undercover narc in the classroom one year! (He never did return the textbook!) They arrested two of the students in that class as a result of the sting!

No unions in Texas. No random testing or searches of teachers (As far as I know). I pay one-half of the pension contribution and two-thirds of health insurance premium. Just saying!

David said...

AJ Lynch said...
Is drug use a big problem in Madison schools?



Hahahahaha.

Madison? Schools? What part of the fact set did you miss?

MayBee said...

We have this in our school district. The school also makes drug test kits available to parents.

ricpic said...

Obviously, dangerous criminal activity in schools should be solved.

Like this is brain surgery? You simply remove delinquents from the classroom. Problem solved. But wait, that would almost certainly mean removing a higher percentage of blacks and hispanics than whites. Disparate impact anyone? Translation: as long as liberal religious principles override reality every last significant problem society faces will remain forever intractable.

David said...

Carol Herman still needs Mydol?

What a woman!!

galdosiana said...

This little white dog is definitely racist: Dog hates Obama

david7134 said...

I have kids that are high school age. I know several of their acquaintances that use and sell drugs. Many of these kids are from affluent homes. They would look at this activity as a minor inconvience and a cut into their bottom line. There would not be any lasting effect on them and they are aware of that. Mostly the kids just don't care. After all, what do our shining examples do? We have a president who can't open his mouth without lying. All of our politicians are con artist. They can't look forward to a decent job, even as a professional. The teachers that are in even the best of schools suck. A man that can dribble a basketball gets millions per years and fame while a doctor who saves your life is labeled as a thief and a low life and needs to be controled by the state. In other words, kids know we are in a decaying, sick society.

dbp said...

"Will the dogs sniff employees’ desks and belongings too?

Typically desks are not in school common areas such as hallways and storage facilities...."

So, teachers and staff are exempt. That seems a little unfair: Students have to attend school, but the faculty and staff have chosen this line of work, are paid to be there and should therefore be held to a higher standard.

Lucien said...

Oh, great idea. The war on drugs is working sooo well and teaches kids so much about respect for individual liberty and autonomy. Plus Wisconsin has sooo much extra revenue that it doesn't know what to do with, that it might as well spend it on training & sending some dogs to school.

Genius.

(Although, if you want cheap deterence, just have some cops borrow their neighbors' Labradors & walk them around the hallways. Students won't be able to tell the dogs aren't trained & the ones with drugs will just feel like they got lucky.)

Gahrie said...

In my district we have drug dogs come by unannounced all the time. They come to a classroom, the kids go into the hallway (leaving backpacks and purses) and the dogs then search the room. (including the teacher's things)

Paul said...

Considering how many teachers CHEAT nowdays, sleep with their students, sell booze and drugs, I say use the dogs on them to.

Heck, I bet they are the pushers.

A. Shmendrik said...

In my UW Law School days I had an evening class in substantive criminal law – and as we approached the topic of police procedures, we had a guest speaker. He was an undercover narcotics officer for some kind of “Metro” affiliation of police departments in communities south of Madison (Beloit/Janesville, etc.)

It was a fascinating presentation, and included circulation of things (sealed in evidence bags) that were the implements and commodities of the drug trade. It was the first (and only) time I have ever held a rock of crack cocaine or seen firsthand the pipettes and accessories that are typically found on a crack smoker. This included the tiny shreds of steel wool used to keep the rock of crack from falling out of the pipe as it is heated.

The fellow was a master of disguise, a real-life Toma of sorts, and he did more than share evidence samples as a show-and-tell. He explained how they gathered evidence, surveilled drug sales and made arrests. It was very interesting and added a great deal to my understanding of the context in which such arrests were made.

He gets to the end of his presentation (which, to my knowledge, was off the clock – on his own time, the trip up from Beloit made at his expense) and he opens it up for questions.

First question out of the box from one of my classmates, so typical of the students there in those days - “How do you feel about primarily oppressing/arresting minorities and persons of color?”

He did not take the bait on oppressing minorities, but he did explain that in his experience one reason why there might be a concentration of arrests among blacks was their lack of sophistication in the business of selling illegal drugs. He detailed this by describing the manner of organization, methods of distribution, etc. for the various organizations that operated in southern Wisconsin. The point being that the black drug dealers that this fellow was talking about operated in the open – where the information necessary to make an arrest was far easier to collect, thus they were arresting them in higher numbers.

purplepenquin said...

I understand that kids are selling pot in school, but for some strange reason they aren't selling beer and whiskey.

Why do you think that is?

Revenant said...

Boy, and I thought public school was like prison when *I* was a kid.

Curious George said...

Translation Public schools are good, for teachers, and Democrats

Carol_Herman said...

Okay, David, @ 11:16 AM ...

What happened to those little tins of Mydol? They were so convenient and easy to carry.

As to Men-O-Pause ... I can remember back about twenty years ... when the doctor asked me if I wanted "anything" to "deal with it." ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

Do you know the joys of elminating one aisle of the supermarket?

Let alone how my mom said Modess came AFTER she and her sisters were just using rags.

Or cotton. Which was sold by the box. Wrapped in blue paper. And, you just tore off what you needed.

You know, gals still menstruate. That one hasn't been solved, except for pregnancies. Which have a way of taking you out of your stupor ... when labor hits.

BEST LINE: In a play called QUILTERS. That talked about the 1880's. And,one woman gets pregnant for the 12th time. And, she asks her male doctor for help.

Her line: "I wouldn't take a million dollars for any one of my kids. But I wouldn't give you a plug nickel for another one."

I should'a saved one of those tins. (I'm sure its how guys feel about those baseball cards ... that came wrapped with flat sheets of bubble gum.) The gum was pink.

Blue@9 said...

What a total waste of money. If government were really responsive to the needs of the citizens, it would cease this garbage and improve efficiency at the DMV.

Curious George said...

Blue@9 said...
What a total waste of money. If government were really responsive to the needs of the citizens, it would cease this garbage and improve efficiency at the DMV.

We could use "pulse sniffing" dogs there.

Irene said...

Leftie comment: "We live in a police state; we might as well let our kids get used to it from an early age."

Facebook.

There was also some drivel about how police are "uninformed humans." That person obviously does not know the Madison Police Department.

Scott M said...

@Irene

Anyone that has those opinions and isn't a 2nd Amendment supporter would appear to be completely at odds with themselves. Shocking, I know, but then again, I've always thought Roe supporters would be de facto 2nd Amendment supporters.

Irene said...

Scott M, that's right.

But Madison is a contradiction bubble.

carrie said...

Middleton and other area high schools have been doing this for year and I do see why it has taken Madison so long to get on board. Middleton also has something like 90 security camera spread around the school in the hallways, lunch room, parking lots, etc. and I was recently surprised to learn that Madison schools don't have any security cameras. After reading the FAQ, I am now wondering if the the teachers are the ones who have been keeping the drug dogs and security cameras out of the schools so that they wouldn't get caught . . .

The Drill SGT said...

Will the dogs sniff employees’ desks and belongings too?

Back when I commanded a Tank company, (this was 82) we used to conduct "health and Welfare" inspections of the barracks, mess hall and office spaces. I was likely the 3rd most sr officer in the battalion of 500+, but no, the Bn Cdr didn't tell anybody when they brought the MP dogs in. When they did my unit, It was my office that he started with, Dog, MP and Bn Cdr. They did my locker and desk completely. Then we did my LT's and the 1SG's area, then flowed down. The point is that "everybody" gets looked at. Nobody is exempt.

And yes, the searches are intended primarily to foster a safe working environment, the law enforcement impact is incidental. It's been tested in court.

Bringing in dogs and going straight to the bunk of the dirtbag who has been selling dope? Not so legal...

Sixty Grit said...

Oh, drug "sniffing", not "snorting". Never mind...

Carol_Herman said...

If the dogs are unobtrusive ... just "sniffing" lockers ... how do the police "just open lockers?" Wouldn't there be privacy issues, here? What happens if money is stolen? Or computer stuff?

I still think it's a terrible idea to use dogs to frighten kids!

Dogs are neat animals. Why should kids learn that they're not safe to be around?

A kid on drugs? Excuse me, but if a kid is "weaving around" ... I'd hope he'd get "guided" into the principal's office.

Isn't that what they're paid to do? Next, you'll tell me the principal's door is locked.

Heck, even back in my day ... you needed a pass from the teacher ... just to go to the bathroom!

Have standards changed?

Fred Drinkwater said...

So thorough searching of student property is essential, presumably to guarantee the safe and effective functioning of the school.
But searching of staff and teacher property is not essential, because, I guess, having non drug-using, non drug dealing staff and faculty is NOT essential to the safe and effective functioning of the school.
From this I can only conclude that the actual function of the school is not what the school probably claims. Figuring out the actual function is left as an exercise for the reader.

CNC said...

To the K9 Wisconsin dope-smoking students: Gather up about an ounce of mother nature's best. Carefully spread small amounts around the school interior. Fun places to spread include the teacher's lounge and the principal's office. Lotsa' fun for everyone.

Skippy said...

One maniacal trustee on our school board decided we must have drug-sniffing dogs. The question never answered is, to what type of drugs will the dog alert? Kids do not keep drugs in their lockers (dogs not allowed near kids or in classrooms) and generally not in their cars. (Teachers were warned if they kept their cars in student lots that they would be subject to search, too.) No drugs ever found in several years of these searches. Yet, we have a drug problem among our students. Maybe someone should research whether or not the seaches are of any use at all before deciding to use them.

xpanxpunkx said...

I live in a fairly small town in central PA, and they've done drug dog searches for decades at both the high school and the junior high. Sometimes they didn't find anything, sometimes they did. I knew one guy who DID have drugs in his locker during the search that weren't found, and another kid who got pulled out of class so they could search his locker, only to find a 3 month old roast beef sandwich.
As far as those of you who think that (one) possession indicates current use and (two) that you can always tell when someone is under the influence, you're wrong on both counts. The signs for many controlled substances aren't terribly noticeable, at least in lower doses, particularly when a teacher has an entire class to watch. I had a friend in high school who dropped acid in homeroom, and none of the teachers were ever the wiser for it, even though he spent the whole rest of the day tripping. Plus, students won't actively inform on other students. It's sort of a code of honor, in a way.

ken in sc said...

This was standard practice in the two school districts in which I taught, for years. I am surprised your schools were not doing this already. These dogs can be trained to detect prescription drugs, gunpowder, and explosives as well as illegal drugs.

A. Shmendrik said...

xpanxpunkx:

How do you smoke a 3 month old roast beef sandwich? Or do you make a puree and mainline it?

xpanxpunkx said...

A. Shmendrik:
I'm not sure, but it DID happen to the kid who looked like he had figured it out.