Thursday, March 11, 2010

Say what?

Say what?
School board meeting a tangle of contradictions

Beneath a carefully constructed veneer of normalcy, the March 9 Goochland school board meeting was very strange theater with horrible sound.

Once again, the sound system in that technological marvel, the high school auditorium, did little to broadcast the comments of the school board.

While several school board members, especially chairman Ray Miller, District 2, are soft-spoken by nature, the manner in which Jim Haskell, District 1 repeatedly turned away from the microphone while speaking was blatant arrogant contempt for those who would question the actions of the school board. Why is the school board unable to hold a meeting in a venue where the public can hear its deliberations?

The sound was so bad that following the open meeting the school board held a closed session at the front of the auditorium while citizens chatted near the door.

Ignoring a mound of smoking gun allegations about inappropriate actions of superintendant Dr. Linda Underwood, the school board acted as though all is right with the world and the board of supervisors will fund the school budget.

Are they whistling past the graveyard or is there behind the scenes canoodling among members of the school board and supervisors?

Members of the Goochland Education Parents Association (GEPA) raised many issues during the public comment periods.

A recap of the meeting can be found at

These allegations paint a scary picture of dreadful management at best. Underwood seems to be wielding a cudgel of job loss to prevent teachers from having contact with GEPA parents.

Particularly troubling are the suspicions that the school administration took active steps to help drug using students circumvent visits by drug sniffing dogs.

Although Underwood contended that she received only ten minutes’ advanced warning of the drug dog visit, the timing of the airing of the video about those dogs is hard to ignore.

Goochland schools must have a firm, clear, well-articulated anti-drug policy. If that means starting with random unannounced testing of all employees from Underwood down, so be it. Our children must have an environment free of the degenerative effects of substance abuse to achieve their full potential. Sweeping the problem under the rug is not the answer.
Drug use in our schools is not acceptable to any degree. Pretending that it doesn't happen, sets a dangerous precedent. Our kids near clear heads to learn and achieve their maximum potential. (Edited segment SEW)
Underwood put a positive spin on the distribution of letters informing some teachers that they could lose their jobs by reporting that action helped update administration records as to certifications and experience. Shouldn’t one of the many people in central office be doing this on a regular basis?

During a mid-year review, Underwood reported that, while most of the system’s students were doing well and working hard, there were some concerns about progress in the some elementary grades for black and special education students.

The small class sizes in our schools have been a significant factor in the system’s improved results in recent years. Reducing the number of teachers and increasing class sizes will have a negative impact on the students that need small classes, with maximum teacher contact, most.

Teachers from all three county elementary schools report that Goochland schools cannot be equated with those in Henrico’s west end, for instance.

A significant number of Goochland students come from single parent families so busy struggling to survive that there are few resources to reinforce school achievements at home. These kids need more teacher attention, not less, to ensure that they succeed.

A speaker from the Virginia Advanced Study Strategy, an organization that works with school districts to prepare and encourage students to take advanced placement courses in high school. Elimination of the gifted center, another goody in the proposed school budget, removes a proven conduit that prepares students at the elementary level to move toward this achievement at the middle and high school level. Perhaps if the kids in the gifted center didn’t have such uppity parents this program would not have been targeted.

In response to a request from GEPA that Underwood’s performance be reviewed by the school board and the results made public, Miller stated that the school board follows state law and has reviewed Underwood’s performance. He did not say when the last review was performed and declined to comment on the making it public part.

Then school board members turned their attention to the long running farce known as the bus garage. Currently, the bus maintenance facility, located opposite the old football field on Sandy Hook Road, is in a sad state of repair and has been for some time.

Air must be let out of bus tires to get them into the maintenance garage and mechanics often work outside in the elements. Its drain field is failing. It has needed to be replaced for a long time.

For at least eight years, the school board and supervisors have tap danced around the matter, with the county spending at least $250,000 in design fees about three years ago on a central garage that was intended to service all county vehicles. That proposal was abandoned when the estimated cost exceeded $12 million.

Initially, a new bus garage was to be located on the 100 or so acres around the high school/middle school complex. When the supervisors deemed the cost of necessary site work, $600,000, too high, everyone went back to the drawing board.

Last year, the county suggested that a prefabricated metal building be used as a temporary measure in spite of the fact that metal buildings are not permitted in village overlay districts, which includes the existing bus garage.

After the county’s design review committee rejected the metal building unless sheathed with acceptable materials and heavily screened, which would add as much as $100,000 to the cost, the school board is considering vital repairs that would keep the existing facility limping along for another few years.

Very recently, the county has suggested that the bus maintenance function be relocated to the old middle school.
The school board, properly, wants more information before endorsing this proposal. Stay tuned. The bus garage adventure has more twists and turns than the Sopranos!

This should be old news for the school board, the issue was on the table long before Underwood arrived.


Anonymous said...

I usually agree with most of your editorials Sandie, but several of your points concern me.

First, I have some concerns about the use of drug sniffing dogs in our schools. In our country you are supposed to be innocent until proven otherwise. What do we teach our children about the 4th Amendment when we search them with dogs, with no evidence of wrongdoing? If a particular student is suspected of holding drugs and there is reasonable cause to believe such is the case, then holding them until the dogs arrive makes sense. Bringing dogs in before or after school to identify residual smells in lockers is OK, as this provides acceptable investigative detective work. Students whose lockers are identified can then be monitored and preferably counseled on the fact that they are suspect and given an opportunity to have proactive counseling instead of just playing "gotcha." I don't like the idea of dogs disrupting school in the middle of the day when there is no immediate cause or suspicion to justify them. Fishing should be kept in the James River where it belongs, and not used as a cop out for lazy detective work. Whether it's legally OK is not the point. We are teaching our children at a young age to ignore their Constitutional rights, because they are simply ancient words on an obsolete document.

I agree that teachers and administrators should not use drugs at school. What they do in the privacy of their own homes is no one else's business so long as it does not affect their job performance. If performance is affected, then and only then is it reasonable to search them, unless they agree as a condition of employment to submit to random searches or tests.

I am most particularly disturbed by your comment, "Those who dismiss school drug use as insignificant should be terminated by the school board." This sounds very much like you are taking away the right to freedom of speech for individuals and would fire them for simply expressing what they think. You express your opinion all the time, yet you would deny this to others because they take a different point of view? Surely you mispoke.

Just how "significant" is the drug use problem at school anyway? Just how many drugs have the dogs found? How many students have been disciplined for drug use? I don't see stories in the local paper that would back up the idea that there is a significant drug use problem at the schools. If there is a significant problem, then it should be openly discussed and the community given the opportunity to determine how best to address it. My son made it through the entire Goochland school system without witnessing a single instance of drug use. I was a child of the 70's and certainly many in my generation smoked a little grass from time to time. Most of us went on to become successful, responsible, taxpaying citizens. Let's keep the problem (if any) in perspective and not contribute any further to the degradation of Constitutional rights in the name of political correctness. Make the cops do their jobs the old fashioned way with good detective work.

I agree that all possible steps should be taken to remove waste and inefficiency where posssible in the school system and whenever possible overhead positions should be cut before teachers or valuable programs. However when times are tough, there is one resounding rule: Greatest good for greatest number. If cuts need to be made to the special interest groups, then so be it. Just because they are the loudest and most vocal does not make special interests the most important.

Perhaps bus maintenance should be outsourced. Government is the only one with money these days. Let's get some of that money into the private sector where it will have a more positive effect growing businesses and creating new jobs so we have the taxes to pay for the teachers and programs that everyone wants to see remain in place.


Anonymous said...

"Just how "significant" is the drug use problem at school anyway? Just how many drugs have the dogs found? How many students have been disciplined for drug use? I don't see stories in the local paper that would back up the idea that there is a significant drug use problem at the schools."

You must not have any children in Goochland High School or Middle School. The drug problem IS significant and VERY REAL. Why do you think they have TWO Assistant Principals AND a Sheriff's Deputy on site all day?? You don't see the stories in the local paper because the Superintendent and Doc, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, and Grumpy have tried to sweep it all under the carpet!

Linda Wise said...

I agree with the second comment about the drug problem being real. In fact, it was my understanding that the second assistant principal was hired because of drug, disciplinary and other problems like gangs in the schools.

The fact that this has not hit the local papers is proof of nothing more than perhaps the desire to protect the school's reputation or the desire to protect underage individuals. I wouldn't say our Richmond newspaper does a great job of covering Goochland anyway.

As to the 4th Amendment, which refers to "unreasonable searches and seizures", the law states that these must be supported by probable cause. Listen to the Sheriff's presentations at BOS meetings about drugs or gangs in our schools and their is no question there is probable cause.

Secondly, the use the dogs is part of "investigative detective work" as you referred to it. If these kids are innocent they have nothing to fear. The whole purpose of these actions is to actually protect those that are innocent, and to uncover the kids using or selling drugs in order to get them the counseling, discipline and help that they need.

The point of what the Sheriff's department is doing is an attempt to make sure that the drug or gang problems don't get worse, and to be proactive. The problem may not be horrendous yet, but what could be done that's any less disruptive but still as effective?

Frankly, I think it's perfectly reasonable that in the process of using the drug sniffing dogs, they are also sniffing teachers and staff. Again, if they are innocent there is no problem. Certainly I think the message conveyed is loud and clear......having, selling or using drugs at school is unacceptable. Period.

Linda Wise

Anonymous said...

"You must not have any children in Goochland High School or Middle School. The drug problem IS significant and VERY REAL. Why do you think they have TWO Assistant Principals AND a Sheriff's Deputy on site all day?? You don't see the stories in the local paper because the Superintendent and Doc, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, and Grumpy have tried to sweep it all under the carpet!"

As I mentioned in my post, my son went through the entire Goochland school system beginning to end without ever seeing drugs in the hands of other students. Perhaps that is because he chose his friends wisely, but from his perspective drug use is very well hidden if it exists.

I conducted a quick study using the arrest statistics on the Sheriff's web site.


I figured that if there were arrests at school relating to drugs, the school resource officer, Deputy Cranor would be the one to make them, so I searched all the arrest records for his name using 2009 as the last complete year of statistics. In the ENTIRE year of 2009, according to the posted web statistics, Deputy Cranor made a single arrest in the middle of the summer for a moving violation. There is not a single arrest attributed to him at school. I'm not saying that's a bad thing - it means he is performing a good job as a deterrent; but clearly there's no rampant problem or one would expect that he'd have some arrests to show for it.

Next, one would assume that the most common drug of choice for teens would be marijuana. Searching for "marijuana" I then discovered a mere 25 arrests for the ENTIRE year - approximately 2 per month for the whole county.

I then examined each of these arrests, because they are normally associated with other citations, such as driving under the influence, assault and battery, etc. Of the 25 arrests for pot in the entire county, only 9 did not have corresponding citations for other offenses - so at the very most, there could have been 9 arrests at school, assuming all 9 actually took place at school. The statistics don't say where the arrests took place. I think it' safe to say that all 9 arrests did not happen at school, and even if they did, I think most would agree that this is not "significant" as most of us understand the term.

I'm afraid you will need to present some evidence to support your position that drugs are a significant problem in our schools. Of course the Sheriff's Dept plays to our fears to get funding, but in fact the statistics indicate that there is not much of a problem - or if there is, they certainly aren't showing many arrests to account for it.

It was my experience, that bullying was a much greater problem in the schools than drugs ever were, and the school had a history of punishing those who retaliated against bullies, more than those who instigated the bullying. This was particularly true in elementary and middle school.

I can only say that if your children are reporting drug problems at school, perhaps they did not choose their friends as wisely as my son did. Perhaps you would be so kind as to share with us where you get your information about this serious drug problem they are sweeping under the carpet......

Anonymous said...

First, they are students, they do not have any rights!!! The objective is to keep the innocent students and staff safe!!! It is simple, the Supreme Court ruled years ago on dogs in schools. You are right, there is absolutely NO PROBABLE CAUSE, it is not needed, it is an investigate tool, that also puts me back at my first point, THEY ARE STUDENTS!!! We do not teach our children that the 4th Amendmant allows us to bring drugs to school, because the police or staff can not search. We teach them NOT TO BRING DRUGS TO SCHOOL, because it is illegal. You are not suppose to possess illegal drugs!!! Because the School Resource Officer, did not show any drug arrests, in his stats, that may not be accurate, does not mean there is not a problem. It means THE STUDENTS ARE GETTING AWAY WITH IT!!! BECAUSE THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS ARE WORRIED ABOUT LIBERTARIAN PARENTS THAT ALLOW THEIR KIDS TO USE ILLEGAL DRUGS. Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Juvenile arrest records are NOT publicly available and won't be on a website unless the law is violated....and drugs were found at the high school last year on several occassions. I think you just don't want to know the truth. It's the Goochland way, if you ignore a problem long enough then maybe you really don't have a problem.

Anonymous said...

Hey is illegal to release juvenile arrest information in this state. Of course you don't see anyhting on a website. Trust me, there were many drugs found last year and a number of arrests made. That said, the problem at our high school is the same problem plaguing all Amerivan schools.

The differnece here is that the school officials deny that there is a problem.

I really do appreciate the fact that enlightened school administrators from the educational industrial establishment are protecting the poor, sensitive students from the jackbooted, cro magnon deputies concerned about CRIMINAL activity in our schools.

Have another joint, moron.

Anonymous said...

The community does not vote or decide on how to handle illegal activity. It is left up to law enforcement. That is in any community. There are laws in place, not parents having a meeting making these decisions. Where do you draw the line. Would parents have a forum on how to "address" students bringing guns and weapons to school? Alcohol? Assaults? Thefts? How about breakins that students commit when they skip school (because they are addicted to Heroin)?

Anonymous said...

As I sat in the High School auditorium Thursday night for Middle School Q&A, Principal Burdette spoke without a microphone and projected her voice to the smallest eaves of the room.
Even those parents, teachers, and counselors who chose to use the mike, their words were loud and clear.
What an amazing improvement from the School Board meeting in the same auditorium Tuesday night.

Anonymous said...

Most of Dep. Cranor's "arrests" are going to come from a juvenile violator. Since it is a juvenile you are not going to see it as an arrest. When a juvenile breaks the law (drug possession and assault and batter for example)the Deputy has to go through juvenile intake to obtain a petition. Beleive it or not there is no such thing as "arresting" a juvenile only placing the juvenile in "custody".

Anonymous said...

Dr. Underwood spoke of a 10 minute warning for searches performed by Drug Dogs. Key point is that the policy started directly after (and I suspect because of) the entire debacle of prior notification.

Pay no attention to the woman behind the screen...

Anonymous said...

Holy cow, I woke up in Nazi Germany!

The arrest records on the web don't indicate the ages of anyone. If they are incomplete, please provide evidence to support your position.

As I mentioned in my post, whether it's legal or not is not the issue. We are teaching students to expect that they should be searched at the whim of the authorities and they should simply accept it. We are undermining their trust and belief in the US Constitution - but of course Congress has been doing that for decades, so why bother with that ancient piece of parchment?

I suppose that if the police want to come into your house at any time of the day or night, that is OK because you have nothing to fear if you have done nothing wrong.

"Probable cause" refers to a specific situation. There's probable cause because the cops say so, that a crime is taking place somewhere in Short Pump mall, so the cops should be able to come into your dressing room when they want to see if you are stealing something? They should be able to walk through the mall with drug sniffing dogs and stick that dog's nose up every crotch they pass? Just because there might be a crime taking place somewhere at the mall? That's what we want our kids to learn? Thats the kind of police state we want to live in? Are you kidding me?

Nobody disagrees that using drugs at school, by students or staff is wrong and should not be tolerated; but that doesn't mean draconian techniques may be used to uncover it when there is no immediate probable cause that a crime has taken place.

I didn't say it wasn't a problem - I said that I don't believe it is a significant problem. There is apparently no evidence being provided to support the idea that it's a significant problem besides the Sherrif saying so. What evidence has he provided? I took a Citizens' Academy class at the Sherrif's Dept a few years ago and they said the same thing then - but they didn't provide a shred of evidence to back it up. I came away convinced that it's a funding issue - get funding for DARE and for a school resource officer. If parents were doing their jobs, then there would be no need for any of that.

Certainly it is not a problem that requires drug sniffing dogs in the middle of the school day. Send the dogs in before and after school to check out lockers and then perform some real police work to come up with probable cause before violating personal rights without due process.

Hey, I provided statistics and evidence to support my position. If you can't do the same, then you have no standing to argue the point.

Or did I really wake up in Nazi Germany this morning?


Anonymous said...

You know I just have to add one more comment on this post:

"First, they are students, they do not have any rights!!!"

I figure that if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the religious nut who masterminded the 911 attack is entitled to the rights and privileges of the US Constitution, then so are our children.

Besides, that statement is patently false. As US Citizens they are "natural persons" entitled to a whole slew of rights and protections.'s+Rights

Finally, the constitutionality of using dogs has not been settled that I am aware of. I searched the web and found this:

The Supreme Court has not ruled on the constitutional limits of using drug-sniffing dogs in schools at the time of this publication, and the lower courts have had differing opinions on whether such tactics are in violation of the reasonable suspicion test. Some courts have held that a sniffer dog does not constitute a search at all, with the landmark case being Doe v. Renfrow (1980). Students who were singled out by dogs in this case were subjected to a strip search, which the Supreme court held was unreasonable. In Horton v. Goose Creek Independent School District (1982) courts held that sniffing a person was a search and that such a search was a violation of Fourth Amendment rights unless there was reasonable suspicion as dictated by T.L.O. Also, In Kuehn v. Renton School District, an ACLU case, the Washington Supreme Court in 1985 ruled that it is unconstitutional for public schools to search a student without individualized suspicion that he or she is breaking a law or school rule.

So I believe the issue is yet to be definitively settled. In my mind, whatever good is performed by using invasive drug sniffing dogs to limit drug use at school, is vastly overcome by teaching our children that the words on the US Constitution are not really respected by authorities (and in some cases, by their own parents).

As Benjamin Franklin is believed to have said, "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"


Anonymous said...

The difference is, it is NOT Nazi Germany. You can not make an analogy to Nazi Germany, to using "drug sniffing" dogs in a place to DEVELOP probable cause. I always see in the RTD, whenever a Libertarian gets backed into a corner, they refer to their critics as Nazis or Hitlers. This is false. Using dogs to sniff the exterior of a car or lockers, or even running a dog down a LINE of students, does not intrude on a expectation of privacy. Going to a public place, and entering areas where there is an expection of privacy is. There is NO comparison. Because there are NO published reports of articles showing JUVENILE ARRESTS, does not mean it does not happen. I guess if the Sheriff were to publish statistics of drug arrests, that would justify using dogs in schools? I thought the issue was the Constitution? Because you can not find a Court Ruling on Dogs in Schools, means that it doesn't exist? Because the arrests are not public knowledge, means the Sheriff is a liar? Then what, next, well 10 arrests is not enough for a dogs, well 5 arrests is not enough for dogs, etc. It is not a Democracy to on how enforcement is handled. The Constitution is there to protect the innocent, not used to protect the criminals, we somehow have gotten away from that in the last 10 years or so!!!

Anonymous said...

Pat, I dont understand your Probable Cause Analogy. I think anyone that knows anything about the legal system will say that there is not any probable cause, to use a dog to sniff for drugs. Probable Cause is for an arrest or search. The sniffing is not a search, so I am not sure of that argument. Has anyone ever heard the phrase, "your comparing apples ot oranges".

I am not sure why this is, but when anything new comes to Goochland, people act as if it the craziest thing they have heard. Eventhough it has been used elsewhere for decades. (Graduation moving outside the county) Nevermind its effectiveness or it's effeciency. Police and COMPETANT SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS have been inviting dogs into schools for 20 or more years, why in Goochland is it wrong?

There is also something called deterrance. If there are not an ABUNDANCE of certain crimes being reported, means there is not a problem?

Anonymous said...

"The difference is, it is NOT Nazi Germany."

Thank you for making my point for me. It is America where we have a Bill of Rights that affords us certain protections.

To the individual who questions my use of the term "probable cause" please read the 4th Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The amendment says that we have a right to be secure in our persons against unreasonable searches. There is no doubt that a drug sniffing dog is conducting a search - that is not open to question. The question is whether it is unreasonable. I believe that it is unreasonable, and you believe that it is not. According to my research, the courts have NOT settled the issue. Do your own research and prove me wrong. Clearly there is no probable cause, as the Sheriff does not come in with a warrant specifying all the particulars of the search. It's a fishing trip - and it sends the wrong message to our children regarding the value of the US Constitution.

I agree, that sniffing the lockers before and after class is OK, and sniffing cars is OK - but not a line of students. They have an expectation of privacy in the absence of probable cause. They are "natural persons" as defined in the Constitution and they have certain rights and privileges.

Did I call the Sheriff a liar? All I said was that I have not seen any evidence. Please don't put words in my mouth. I've been blasted and called a moron on this post, yet not a single respondent has provided a shred of evidence to back up his/her claims.

I never said that having the Sheriff publish the arrests of juveniles would justify or not justify the use of dogs. I was simply trying to determine whether there was in fact a "significant" drug problem at the schools as some here have asserted. I am unable to find any evidence of this, beginning with my own son who never saw any drug use in 13 years (K-12) at Goochland schools. I have contacted the Sheriff's Dept to try and gain more information about what exactly is included in their stats, and I will share the information when/if I get a response. I agree that juvenile records are not public (or at least not the names), but the stats don't indicate whether they leave out juvenile arrests. If there is a significant drug problem at school, then it needs to be addressed - but in my opinion, NOT with drug sniffing dogs going down a line of students. Some have proposed that treating people as criminals has a way of making them behave that way.

Thank you again for making my point: "the Constitution is there to protect the innocent" is what you said, yet the innocent are having their rights to privacy violated.

So tell me, should the Sheriff be permitted to randomly and at will, strip search your children? How about a whole line of children? Why not? Using a dog is a search without any probable cause to believe a crime has been committed; just as strip searching a line of children would also be a search without probable cause that a crime has been committed. It's only a question of degree.


Anonymous said...

If a police officer can smell illegal drugs on a student, is that different than a dog smelling illegal drugs? I think the same probable cause has been developed, one is just more efficient and effective, and can act as a detterent. That is why it is done in airports and prisons. A public school shouldn't be more sacred.

Anonymous said...

"If a police officer can smell illegal drugs on a student, is that different than a dog smelling illegal drugs? I think the same probable cause has been developed..."

You just don't seem to understand that no "probable cause" has been established.

"In United States criminal law, probable cause is the standard by which a police officer has the authority to make an arrest, conduct a personal or property search, or to obtain a warrant for arrest. It is also used to refer to the standard to which a grand jury believes that a crime has been committed."

Please tell me what standard has been used to establish that a crime has been committed. Simply being a student is not probable cause that one has committed a crime. I and most of my peers managed to get through our entire elementary, junior and senior high school years without committing any crimes. Being a student is not a crime. No probable cause exists that one has committed a crime simply because one is a student.

I object to having a police officer walking down a line of students sniffing their crotches for pot, just as much as I object to having a dog do the same thing. It's a violation of privacy. No probable cause has been established that any crime has been committed by any specific individual. This is basic Constitutional rights people - the same basic right that allows us the freedom of speech to exchange the ideas in this discussion.

If an officer has a reason to believe a crime has been committed and that a student is carrying drugs (i.e. they were observed making a suspicious transaction in the parking lot), then at that time probable cause exists to search the student by cop or dog sniffing. But we can't just assume that everyone in our society is guilty of a crime and permit them to be searched willy nilly or else, I was right in my earlier post that we have awakened in Nazi Germany or Stalanist Russia.

I just can't understand why there are American citizens in Goochland so willing to give up basic rights that our forefathers, not to mention our sons and daughters fight and die to defend.


Anonymous said...

Pat, You just don't get it.

So an officer is talking to a student, and smells marijuana coming from the student? That is a search? The STUDENT has an expectation of privacy for the police not to smell an odor of drugs coming from them? That is not a SEARCH!!!! But a student simply making a transaction is enough PROBABLE CAUSE??? This is unreal.

Anonymous said...

It's all about the kids!

Anonymous said...

"So an officer is talking to a student, and smells marijuana coming from the student? That is a search? The STUDENT has an expectation of privacy for the police not to smell an odor of drugs coming from them? That is not a SEARCH!!!! But a student simply making a transaction is enough PROBABLE CAUSE??? This is unreal."

Did you read any of my posts? I said that it was an unreasonable search for a cop to sniff down a line of students, just as it is for a drug dog to do. If, however, a cop, during the normal course of his day comes across an individual student or students who smell(s) of pot, that establishes probable cause to search that student(s) further. I never insinuated otherwise. I also said that a search is justified when a student is seen making a "suspicious" transaction. Why do people keep putting words in my mouth or taking words out of my sentences?

This whole issue is about searching a large portion of the student body without any reason to believe a crime has been committed. That is what the drug sniffing dogs do. I believe it's unconstitutional - an unreasonable search. You apparently don't. Let's agree to disagree. I'm tired of having my words twisted around.

Yes, it is all about the kids - protecting their rights as citizens of this country, and helping them learn to honor the Constitution that confers those rights on them.

OK, I get it. Many of you do not believe your children are entitled to Constitutional rights. My child is out of the system, so it is no longer my affair, other than a concern for the fate of our country which is getting sicker by the day as our government takes away our rights little by little with no objections apparently from many of the good citizens of Goochland.

My son is joining the Army to defend the rights that you are so willing to give up for your children. I'm beginning to question whether that was the right move on his part.

One last point. I have learned that Cranor's juvenile arrests do not appear in the stats. I was told that the numbers would be provided, but I haven't seen anything, so I still don't know if we have a "significant drug problem" at the schools. And you know what? I don't really care. It's your problem now, and you are free to abandon your parenting and civil responsibilities to the authorities as you see fit.


Anonymous said...

In Loco Parentis

From Wikipedia...

More prominent change came in the 1960s and 1970s in such cases as Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), when the Supreme Court decided that "conduct by the student, in class or out of it, which for any reason - whether it stems from time, place, or type of behavior - materially disrupts classwork or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others is, of course, not immunized by the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech."

Many provisions of in loco parentis have been upheld over time. New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985) upheld the search of lockers and other personal space while on school property, indicating that students are not afforded the same rights as adults in other settings and stating that while acting in loco parentis, school officials are still representatives of the state. In Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1987) the Supreme Court similarly ruled that "First Amendment rights of students in the public schools are not automatically coextensive with the rights of adults in other settings, and must be applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment" and schools may censor school-sponsored publications (such as a school newspaper) if content is "...inconsistent with its basic educational mission."