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Drug-Sniffing Dogs, Hot Lines on School Campuses in County

April 11, 1993

It appears that the Huntington Beach Union High School District's superintendent and board are grandstanding with their proposed use of drug-sniffing dogs on lockers and student automobiles.

You can be sure that drugs will now migrate from lockers and automobiles into student pockets and their backpacks, and thus the classroom.

The dogs might be a small deterrence, but everyone knows that a drug user or seller will find his ways.

At a time when there is little money for much else, it is surprising that the district has found money for this program. Legal opinion has been sought regarding constitutional issues in using the dogs, and county counsel has given the green light for use of the dogs, according to the article. This is ironic.

Why hasn't the same effort been exercised to determine the legalities related to operating schools with toilets that don't flush, electrical systems that short out, restrooms without hot water and toilet paper, and portable classrooms that do not meet earthquake standards?

Why is there little concern about rooms that are seldom vacuumed or dusted and that are infested with termites, ants, fleas, and occasional mice? Don't these issues impact the health and safety of students as much as drugs in lockers?

Perhaps the newly hired dogs can do double duty and be escorted through classrooms in order to attract the fleas to themselves so that students can be more comfortable during the coming hot season.

It's time for school authorities to be honest with parents about the health and safety conditions in the schools and how those conditions contrast with those found in administration buildings.

BILL D. HOLDER

Cypress

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