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Friday, May 29, 2009

Teaching respect for law by breaching children’s rights?


Schools advocate use of dogs
Drug dogs are being used in an increasing number of Taranaki secondary schools as principals step up the war on adolescent drug use. Five Taranaki schools are turning to the highly-trained animals to conduct random sweeps of school grounds despite a cost of up to $1900 a day. Several others say it is a proven measure they will not be ruling out. Hawera High School sent a notice home to parents this week stating it had made a decision to use drug dogs at random and without warning to search the school and students. The move follows a recent search at Sacred Heart Girls' College where dogs from an Auckland-based company were brought to New Plymouth following an incident in March where three year 9 students were caught with marijuana. The dogs come from Elite Dog Service in Auckland, which lists 60 schools nationwide as its clients. The dogs are trained to search for all illegal substances and have been increasingly used to identify the drug P.

Oh for crying out loud, random dog drug searches in school? What does breaching children’s rights not to be randomly searched LIKE ANY OTHER CITIZEN IN NZ teach these children exactly? I don’t have to be randomly searched because I live in New Zealand, remember that country folks – NZ – a FREE country, a country where I have a very clearly defined list of rights, random searches and being forced to agree to random searches ain’t one of the things I have to put up with, yet here we have schools using the ‘scourge’ of drugs to legitimize a breach of rights, They’ve sidestepped the issue by getting a private company in as opposed to the Police but allowing private companies to have the powers of a cop and legitimizing that process by paying them has it’s own list of complaints.

Will the school piss test their teachers? Wouldn’t a drug induced teacher have more damage than a drug induced student? If it’s so good to randomly search students, let’s start doing it to the teachers as well – reason that won’t happen? Because the PPTA would throw a fit, students however have no voice to stand up for them and that’s how these schools are getting away with wasting precious cash resources on breaching students rights to teach those students to respect the law.

What a great lesson to learn.

10 Comments:

At 29/5/09 7:47 a.m., Anonymous Lance said...

What does breaching children’s rights not to be randomly searched LIKE ANY OTHER CITIZEN IN NZ teach these children exactly?In my more bitter and cynical frame of mind: It teaches them to get used to it. It teaches them that they should get used to being a suspect at any and all times until cleared of any wrongdoing.

In my slightly less bitter and cynical frame of mind, I don't believe there is a moustache twirling villain gleefully rubbing there hands at the prospect of this sort of indoctrination (carefully planned and executed). It's just a result of the general direction we are heading in.

When I am feeling even LESS bitter and cynical and have perhaps had some breakfast and a coffee, I start to think that while this must be opposed at every turn and at all times, arguments against are strengthened by an alternative solution. Mostly because this isn't being planned by a moustache twirling villain determined to indoctrinate children into the brave new world of 21st century soft authoritarianism emerging in western civilisations; it's being planned by a tired and frustrated principal(board of trustees?) dealing with a very real problem, in an environment where their hands are normally bound up so tight its amazing they can maintain any kind of discipline at all.

 
At 29/5/09 11:49 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

What worries me more is the boozers and the druggies calling themselves teachers!

 
At 29/5/09 12:06 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

get em while theyre young bomber, then they wont question the mighty govermnet

 
At 29/5/09 2:27 p.m., Anonymous Frankie said...

Hmmm.

It seems to be to be merely a small part of the general trend towards the stripping away of basic human rights that's been happening in this country in the last couple of years.

It's sneaky- the laws change little bit by little bit- always with the justification "Well, if ya haven't done anything wrong, ya got nothing to worry about!"

Being searched is a pretty traumatic experience even if you've done nothing wrong. It's definitely not a way to foster mutual trust and respect with students. It's just going to teach them to hate and fear authority...

 
At 30/5/09 10:04 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

fucks sake! who cares? kids should not have drugs at school or anywhere. they are there to learn and cant do so if they are getting hi at lunchtime. you and your rights crusade. it's like the state houses argument: if they want the priviledge then they abide and consent to rules. and before you say it, this is not a fascist view. it is plain common sense follow the law thinking. but ofcourse you would rather the kids and crims to continue what they are doing for fear of rocking the boat. what a dim, delluded, narrow minded view.

 
At 30/5/09 3:55 p.m., Anonymous bc said...

Based on bombers blog you would think children are getting "victimised" by being searched by policemen with drug sniffer-dogs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let's get the facts (as opposed to an uninformed rant).

Myth #1: This is just another example of the so-called police state created by the National Government.
Nope, drug sniffer-dogs have been going into schools searching for drugs for quite a while now. I was at a school where this happened 8 years ago (shock, horror - when Labour were the government).

Myth #2: Students get searched.
Nope, the students stand around the walls of the classroom or go out in the corrider while the dog walks around the desks and chairs sniffing the students BAGS. The dog goes no where near the students.

Myth #3: Students get caught with drugs are kicked out of school.
This may happen in a few private schools, but in state schools it is near impossible to exclude (expell) students without compelling reasons. A lot has changed from years ago. Schools must legally prove that they have tried to fix the problem and get the student back on track without success before they can exclude students.

Myth #4: The students feel "victimised" when caught with drugs and being on programmes that have random drug testing
Nope again, research from schools on anti-drug programmes like AIMHI say students appreciate being on the programme. Students have commented that they can avoid peer-pressure by saying that they can't take take drugs because they are on AIMHI (which has a component on random drug testing). Even students that aren't on the programme have said that they are so that they can use it as a reason not to take drugs.

The signs are encouraging. There is now a downward trend of teenagers using drugs (including cigarettes), despite what the media may say. Unfortunately, alcohol is another story.

So nice story bomber, but that's all it is - a "story". It's always a nuisance when the facts get in the way isn't it?

 
At 31/5/09 7:05 p.m., Blogger Blair Anderson said...

The latest drug dogs in schools is testimony to failed 'family values' abstinence based education touted as the solution by political hacks and simplistic fools.

Evidence of the policy deficiency is disgracefully ignored by the health intervention and promotion sector ever beguiled by increased budgets to do more of the same.

Our nations drug policy is a corrupt, perverse and counter-productive harm maximization which our current 'world record' youth drug uptake evidences.

Drug use among youth is now normal' suggesting it is now abstention that is deviant. (TV1 News 31june 2006)

This has come about under the watch of 'zero tolerant' prohibitors. Civil Society has been beguiled. Our kids, it appears, are smarter than we may give credit.

The molecule sniffing policy has surely been tried elsewhere.

Random searches of teens personal property, body and body fluids creates a breach of trust from which there is no social dividend.

(given that 100's of thousands of breaches of the law occur everyday, and largely in the childbearing demographic - it should hardly be surprising that noses of dogs pick up residue at trace levels just about anywhere.)

Netherlands teen 'family friendly' Drug education, despite a climate of high cannabis accessibility is about 1/4 as dysfunctional in teen health outcomes (STD's pregnancy, suicide etc.) as ours, and that's across every age group. If drug use is a problem, we owe it to 'our kids' to minimise overall harms.
Reality based education is about tolerance and the 'reality' that cannabis use is a prevelent (and popular) community behavour.

Adults are eronously setting the benchmark for 'coming of age'.

If NZ's prevalence is a guide, adolescent cannabis use is a normative behaviour.

While NZ has the highest uptake in the entire OECD occuring in our teens, Zero tolerance reeks of implausability.

The younger we reach out on 'cannabis' and other drugs selling them its our 'prevalence and use' problem only creates the illusion that 'everyone is doing it'. [No wonder they cant bloody wait.]

Youth targeted drug testing and canine searches by police OR private providers fails the human rights test.

Collectively we have failed to account - there has never been a cost benefit analysis of zero tolerance. It is sustained by wishful and woolly thinking.

When you do the critical thinking, zero tolerance education in application has been found to be a systemic and chronic 'health promotion' failure.

Supporting random drug testing/dogs in schools is a retrograde step having far more consequences than all and any 'good intentions' can account for.

Drug hypocrisy is at the root of many young folks attitude to and alienation from 'rule of law'.

Yet 'the laws the law' is about the best response (understanding?) you get from the Human Rights Commission. Are they asleep at the wheel here? The Commission of White Priviledge comes to mind.

The inescapable logic from those who would proscribe intolerance as therapy 'send the very clear bully boy message' that it is OK to treat otherwise law-abiding young folk as potentially guilty. Pop goes the Magna Carta and all that.

Drug testing and dogs is institutionalised compulsive demonisation of youth and damned as an admission of the current paradigms abject failure. (and it says even less about those who continue, despite evidence, to provaricate prohibition 'as a success'.)

May common sense prevail. It may take a informed and empowered community and (subsequently) a few changes in the Boards of Trustees and school executive staff [and PPTA] but I am hopeful from discussions with some Secondary Principals who have recently been bearing the brunt of this issue, they are both open to fresh ideas and considering carefully what will serve their charges best.

 
At 31/5/09 9:11 p.m., Anonymous Frankie said...

Blair-

good rant. I concur.

It's a question of what works...

 
At 1/6/09 11:14 a.m., Blogger Bomber said...

Well said Blair

as for bc

Based on bombers blog you would think children are getting "victimised" by being searched by policemen with drug sniffer-dogs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let's get the facts (as opposed to an uninformed rant).
Talking of uninformed rant, bc the Police are not doing this, it is a private company - Elite Dog Services, just one of a host opf private companies set up to scare schools into zero tolerance measures and then charging them for that fear - sweet christ bc - I'm not advocating any desire for children to take drugs, I'm for a drug free childhood - but paying private companies to copme in and dog sniff a school is a breach of children's rights. Firstly only the Police should be in charge of anything that detains a person and searches them, and even if it was the Police they would have to prove that there were reasonable grounds to suspect drugs were present, the cops shouldn't be able to roll up at the invitation of a school without evidence, and seeing as children are compelled to be at school there are issues of compulsion and children's rights need to be considered. Allowing private companies to freak schools into zero tolerance with techniques that actually breach their rights to 'save them' are tactics that are counter productive and don't work.


Myth #1: This is just another example of the so-called police state created by the National Government.
Nope, drug sniffer-dogs have been going into schools searching for drugs for quite a while now. I was at a school where this happened 8 years ago (shock, horror - when Labour were the government).

Your Myth number 1 is a myth in itself, where did I say this was the National Parties fault, Labour didn't do anything to shut the practice down for the decade they were in power. Your first myth is redundant

Myth #2: Students get searched.
Nope, the students stand around the walls of the classroom or go out in the corrider while the dog walks around the desks and chairs sniffing the students BAGS. The dog goes no where near the students.

Your property and the fact that you are compelled to be at school still contains privacy issues. Being forced to agree to random searches of your property is still an abuse.

 
At 1/6/09 11:15 a.m., Blogger Bomber said...

Myth #3: Students get caught with drugs are kicked out of school.
This may happen in a few private schools, but in state schools it is near impossible to exclude (expell) students without compelling reasons. A lot has changed from years ago. Schools must legally prove that they have tried to fix the problem and get the student back on track without success before they can exclude students.

Here you seem to be well out of your depth - we have had suspension rates that were through the roof because scools expelled anyone who had anything to do with any association with drugs, it was such a problem that the Education Ministry had to remind schools what their obligations were meaning the drop in suspension rates only occured recently, the culture is still to move on drug associated students as quickly as possible, to pretend otherwise is just pretending.

Myth #4: The students feel "victimised" when caught with drugs and being on programmes that have random drug testing
Nope again, research from schools on anti-drug programmes like AIMHI say students appreciate being on the programme. Students have commented that they can avoid peer-pressure by saying that they can't take take drugs because they are on AIMHI (which has a component on random drug testing). Even students that aren't on the programme have said that they are so that they can use it as a reason not to take drugs.

LMAO

The signs are encouraging. There is now a downward trend of teenagers using drugs (including cigarettes), despite what the media may say. Unfortunately, alcohol is another story.
Bullshit, these intrusive programmes which abuse students rights are counter productive and feed a culture where competative schools kick kids out onto the scrapeheap for fear of damaging their reputations. This got so out of hand that the Education Ministry had to pull them back into reminding them of their obligations regarding expulsion. There is a private drug testing industry that has a vested interest in expanding these abuses of your rights into schools and the workforce, it is a creeping expansion of police powers to the private industry, I think we should stop that creep in its tracks.

So nice story bomber, but that's all it is - a "story". It's always a nuisance when the facts get in the way isn't it?
You sound like a spin dr who works for them.

 

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