Sniffing Their Way Through EL: Drugs Dogs Soon to Search School

By Danica Nadeau, ’15

The Auburn School Department administration has decided later this year to bring in K-9 dogs into the school to search for drugs. This is to prevent and crack down on drugs being brought into the school system. Just in Maine alone, a total of 36 percent teenagers in high school have experimented with marijuana one or more times in their life.

According to statistics provided by the Auburn School Department, at Edward Little High and Franklin combined, there have been 10 marijuana related incidents in 2014. Calli Murray, a senior, has several times seen students pulling marijuana out of their backpacks, she said. “I think if they get caught it will help,” Murray said, “and make everybody realize how much trouble they could get in.” However, Murray is not the only student to witness illegal acts.

Former student Amanda Grenier saw students with marijuana at school, flaunting the drugs around and thinking it was funny

Junior Abby Roy says some students getting caught would send a message. “It may deter some kids from bringing drugs to school,” she said.

In previous years Edward Little has had incidents with drugs. Murray believes that the reason for these spontaneous drug searches is due to the “pot brownie situation and kids showing up to school high.” The pot brownie drug bust, which occurred in 2012, involved three junior males and a sophomore female who brought brownies with marijuana baked inside of them, and proceeded to give them to a junior male. The actions of these individuals led to several suspensions and community service hours.

The search procedure is not quite finalized yet. “I don’t believe the dogs will be able to go near the bags,” stated Jim Horn, one of Edward Little’s assistant principals. “From the presentation that I heard to the school committee, was that they were going to sweep the building. As far as sniffing at the feet of a students, I believe that they said the dog that the officials have won’t do that.”  According to Horn, one possibility is that the dogs will sweep the school during fire drills. Horn says that once the policy is finalized, students will be informed of the exact search process.

Some students believe that this will be invading students’ privacy. According to sophomore Mariah Vaillancourt, “You are kinda invading someone’s privacy. Yeah, I know weed is illegal but it’s still going into someone’s privacy.”

Senior Kristina Latlippe also agrees that people do not have the right to search another’s personal belongings without a warrant. “I think police officials should have to have a court order to search a students lockers, bags, or pockets,” she said.

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