Doggin' It - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

June 29, 2009

Doggin' It

Who let the dogs out?  Well, if it has its way, the state Board of Education will be letting the dogs out on public school campuses with random locker searches.  This will most assuredly become a classic case of the rights of the individual and the Constitution as it relates to searches and seizures vs. the right of the department of education to better ensure a safe campus environment for students.

The mere fear of drug-sniffing dogs might give pause to the few miscreants on some school campuses.  Of course, it might mean they simply move their nefarious ways off-campus, but it will allow students, parents, teachers, and administrators a bit more comfort while on public school grounds.  Opponents suggest the pooch patrol efforts have not been proven to work elsewhere, and/or that this is all an unwarranted invasion of privacy, which is not a good civics lesson for students.

The Supreme Court last addressed school searches back in 1985, and while that case was not one involving drug-sniffing dogs, the court did assert that public school students do not automatically earn the same rights as adults in other places, and the schools do have responsibility to act in place of parents.  You can be sure that this doggie decision will not quickly be put into place, as both sides get their paws up before possible implementation.  Think about it...

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