Sniffer dogs in schools

[This post is a syndication of my latest Ruberyvillage MattSez column]

Local education authorities are now being encouraged to use sniffer drugs in the fight against drugs in school. Take a guess as to whether this is a good idea?

The answer is – no, it’s not. In fact, it’s one of the most absurd ideas for keeping law and order I’ve heard in a while, up there with using stop and searches as an anti-terrorism measure.

The most important thing is that it won’t work. Even if you did manage to push drugs and dealing out of schools (I’m not convinced they’re even there in the first place) you succeed in doing… what exactly? Kids take and sell them outside of school instead? Congratulations, you’ve managed to take an illegal activity from a relatively safe environment to a more dangerous one.

You also encourage people to play truant – denying themself an education in the process, lowering the chance of getting any qualifications, and pushing them still further into drugs as their only option. It’s a vicious circle, and it makes no sense, apart from grabbing a few headlines and plaudits from the self declared moral guardians of our world. (You know, the ones with the expensive cocaine habits.)

I’ve also got hope that at least some of Britain’s young people have the brains to get around the scheme. Do you really need to keep your possessions in your pocket at all times, or could you not use third-partys to carry the drugs and take the rap for you? The most enterprising teenagers could offer free drugs in exchange for taking that chance, while cheapskates might be content which just bunking registration or whatever other piece of school time is going to be given over to the dogs.

Which is another point – aren’t people supposed to be learning in school? Not having their lessons interrupted on the off chance that there’s some weed in their pocket. And even if there is… are they arrested? Excluded? What’s the punishment for mildly harming yourself in school, given that nothing often seems to happen when someone mildly harms someone else?

Like stop and searching, the argument is that “if you’re innocent, then you’ve got nothing to be afraid of”. Bollocks. Just like stop and searching, drug sniffing is invasive and unpleasant. I myself don’t like dogs at the best of time – they remind me of wolves which forgot to evolve into something nicer. Why should I be punished? I can understand if there was a very high chance of stopping something very bad from happening, but honestly, teens taking drugs is more a cliché than a crisis.

Of course there are serious cases – but this is not the way to deal with them. Of course people shouldn’t have to face drug dealers in school any more than they should outside, but if you can’t control your own classrooms so that this doesn’t happen, you’ve got bigger problems. Like, oh I don’t know, bullying? STIs? Gangs? Knives? Guns? I’d rather we spent copious amounts of money tackling these issues before we get round to the sniffer dogs.

In my opinion, we need to radically rethink our attitude to drugs, especially in terms of youth. Scare campaigns don’t work, and constantly pushing everything to the most dangerous edges of criminality is not the way to go about it either. But that’s an argument for another time, and not one I expect any government to agree to any time soon. But please, hold off the dogs.

©; We own MattSez, don’t mess.

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20 Comments on :
Sniffer dogs in schools

  1. Big Bro Man says:

    After going to a school where I had to share a classroom with stoned yobs (who incidently arrived reasonable; meaning the cannabis had to have been taken during the school day…) I am in favour of anything that will stamp this loutish behaviour out.

    Especially to nip it in the bud when people are still young. A substantial part of one’s childhood is spent within the school gate, and the school should be playing leading role in the teachings of morality and of respect for the law.

    If a couple of dogs and a few police stationed in each school is the requirement to ensure an environment in which all can learn and the talented can progress at their own rate… who can damn it?

    Trust me, if its the same setup as that of two years ago – it needs changing anyway.

  2. Red Dalek says:

    Because I don’t think it *will* work – and I don’t even consider cannabis use ‘loutish’ behaviour in the first place. It’s not a moral issue, it’s a health issue. If alcohol and tobacco are legal then why not cannabis? And you could make it a fair bit safer by legalising it too…

    (That isn’t to say I don’t consider self harm stupid, I do, but just not criminal)

  3. Sewer Bagman says:

    Well there is no way possible that students will stop taking drugs into skools. There are ppl i know who do it everyday. The sniffer dog idea is just a rough way to finding students who carry these drugs. There are ways of getting these substances into skool. I think the sniffer dog idea would just be a waste of money

  4. Ragnarok_Warrior says:

    I think its a good idea so they junkie yobs could get counselling about the drugs if they do get caught

  5. Ragnarok_Warrior says:

    *the junkie

  6. God says:

    Domonic open your eyes even in your school, wink, wink i know which it is. there was a heavy drug problem, perhaps you didnt notice it because you dont normally go to where it happens but there where around a hundred students smoking weed or the normal stuff before the big brother camera’s where instaled and the school came down tuff on drug use. i’m telling you with that hundred poeople (approx. 10% of the students in th whole school) under the influance of drugs how on earth would they be expected to do any work in class. i say get tuff and drive thedealing and drug use out of the schools where they belong so that kids wont have that problem, at least to deal with while TRYING TO LEARN1!. i say they should get tougher on this probel and i say they sould start raiding the girls bathrooms because i can smell something goinon in here every time i walk by and why should they be safe in there just because the teachers are to scared to go in there and make some examples with the fear of being classed facists of even pedofiles for trying!!!!!
    well mybe i’m exagerating but i tell you Dom stop watchin doctor who and open your eyes to the world around you before it passes you by. so with taht said i would like you to stop talkin about shit you dont know nuttin about!!!

  7. Alex Newman says:

    wow, small school

  8. alex trafford says:

    QPCS is 1500.

  9. Red Dalek says:

    Teenagers smoking weed is not a huge problem, oh Lord

  10. Big Bro Man says:

    Of course its a major problem… especially in teenage years if but anything.

    What you do as a teenager defines you as an adult. Cannabis users are known for their sluggishness, lack of motivation and paranoia. Hardly damaging healthwise, but not exactly the best traits to have when your supposed to be studying for an education?

    So oh Lord, it is a huge problem.

  11. Red Dalek says:

    How on earth can you say that? It’s not new – people have been taking drugs for as long as humanity.

  12. Big Bro Man says:

    And for the largest part of that, homosexuals were victimised and racial abuse was tolerated.

    We reformed/are reforming that… and we really are moving away from abusing our bodies in such a manner.

    I don’t think the history of humanity is the best benchmark for the future, do you?

  13. The real GOD, BAGMAN says:

    Well i dont know who called themselves ‘GOD’ but that place is resevered for the real god, BAGMAN. Watch this space

  14. Red Dalek says:

    People do have the right to abuse their bodies if they so wish. They have the right to smoke \ drink and even drive a car – which is abusing everyone else as well!

    How far you do you go? Should we arrest people who play boxing?

  15. GOD says:

    BAGMAN your a batty man i’m the real god of this space and you ain’t got nuttin on me biatch!!!!!

    anyway even though this problem has been around doesn’t meen we should just let it continue if we dont do somting about it know we are all goin to end crack heads (kalid, if any one knows him) we need to stop people doing these things because if we givethem the choose they will abuse that rigth and what sort of society will we become!!!!

  16. devil says:

    Y u wana arrest people who box 4 a livin? They do it as a sport & knw EXACTLY wat they’re gettin themselvs in2.They wana do it, it’s their business, dnt arrest them 4 doin wat they want in life. wat u gona do nxt, arrest martial artists who do full contact fights just bcoz they mite hurt sum1. Wat all u idiots out there who agree with this hav 2 realise is that, these people do these thing bcoz the want 2. They train all their life 2 do this stuff, so let them.

  17. Red Dalek says:

    I don’t want to arrest people who box! But, just like boxing, people who smoke a bit of cannabis know exactly what they are doing – criminalising them seems futile.

  18. Big Bro Man says:

    The concept of not decriminalising a drug is that it could be construed as being an endorsement.

    "Ah well, the polis don’t bother anymore."

    Of course its up to people to abuse their bodies if they want. But clearly, its best for them and its best for society if people are distracted from doing so. Thats why there is going to be a ban on smoking in pubs (in Scotland), we have advertising campaigns on healthy eating and living, and finally that we have orders of statute requiring food producers to declare levels of carbs, fat and salt in their produce.

    Driving a car, well, that is a matter of opinion. Does it cause harm to society? A tiny bit, yes. However, its use does have much more positive influence which sort of cancels out the negative.

    If we wish to nit pick like that, every single concept of our modern way of living would harm others in some shape or form. They are however, key to our existence.

    Drugs, whereas, are not. They are a distraction… a hinderence, to our existence, and should be discouraged where possible.

    Alcohol is a substance that can cause harm, but only when used inappropriately. On its own, its fine… and within certain quantities it does not encourage alcoholism.

    Drugs are a different ball game – even cannabis. It can encourage the user to do it again – especially through peer pressure. There will be many youngsters out there who are teetering on the edge of using the stuff… and the only thing keeping them from experiementing is the lack of endorsement a decriminalisation would bring.

    The statistics may appear to go against us, but thats no reason why the moral should downgrade their standards.

  19. Red Dalek says:

    Well obviously cars do harm people with breathing difficulties, run thousands over every year and are leading to the irreversible destruction of our planet due to carbon dioxide emissions. Other than that, they’re great.

    Cannabis is exactly the same as alcohol – you seem to forget that alcohol is a drug. In most cases, people can enjoy it without getting addicted. (No, it is not chemically addictive.) It brings pleasure to people’s lives – that’s the purpose, just like eating junk food.

    As a youngster, I can only speak from experience that I have never met a single person who would have tried cannabis had it not been for the legal aspect.

    I don’t consider it ‘moral’ to stop people inflicting a certain amount of harm on themselves, through free choice, when it brings them considerable enjoyment.

  20. Ragnarok_Warrior says:

    Im confused Hell there are a lot of posts here

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