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Drug sniffing dogs introduced into LA schools

An editorial of rebuttal

By Tom O'Connell, MD

In July, the Los Angeles Times printed an editorial supporting a recent decision by the Board of Education to allow drug sniffing dogs into the LA Unified School District. The editorial stated that the dogs would sniff for drugs and gunpowder; the recent school shootings in the nation were used as justification for the action. It added "According to some Venice parents, drugs are available on the West Los Angeles campus despite the district's zero tolerance policy."

Also, ironically, the following statement was made; "Yes, along with the metal detectors in use on many campuses, dogs add to the gloomy feeling of many teenagers that they are prison inmates rather than high school students."

To Whom It May Concern:

I am inclined to agree with your endorsement of drug sniffing dogs in the L.A. Unified School District, although for somewhat different reasons than yours. Nearly a century of experience with attempted substance prohibition demonstrates beyond any doubt that a "drug free" state is unattainable, but the experience of having their lockers checked periodically by inquisitive dogs will help prepare the kids for their futures as citizens of a police state.

Also, given our national commitment to zero tolerance, and our current level of investment in prisons, career opportunities in law enforcement, corrections, and illicit drug sales appear solid for the foreseeable future.

Therefore, whether they go on to become policemen, prison guards or inmates, the kids will receive very practical experience they can put to good use later on. Given the declining academic levels of public school education in California, there isn't much chance they will be distracted by the more intellectual careers private school students are expected to enter.

I say bring on the dogs! It's about time we gave our public school kids some schooling they can use down the road.

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