cannabisnews.com: School Board OKs Locker Searches by Police Dogs





School Board OKs Locker Searches by Police Dogs
Posted by FoM on December 29, 1999 at 08:23:44 PT
By Annysa Johnson, of the Journal Sentinel Staff
Source: JSOnline
Troubled by what it perceives as an increase in drug use by students, the West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board will begin allowing police dogs to search student lockers after Jan. 1.Superintendent Philip Sobocinski said the random searches, planned first for the district's high schools and middle schools, are intended to dissuade students from bringing drugs onto school property.
"My hope is that they do one of these searches and they find nothing," Sobocinski said.A number of Wisconsin school districts have employed police K-9 units for drug searches in recent years - Brown Deer, Port Washington, and Germantown among them.West Allis police had pitched the idea to local school officials a few years ago, but it was rejected. Sobocinski, who allowed the searches as superintendent in the Monona Grove School District, was open to the idea when he assumed leadership of the West Allis-West Milwaukee district in August.Pat Kerhin, president of the West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board, said board members were motivated in part by the comments of high schoolers made during meetings in October to discuss the formation of a youth commission."A number of kids expressed concern (about drugs in the schools), asking, 'What can you do to stop this? We're coming here to learn,' " she said."We have to address what seems to be an increase in marijuana use. They don't seem to have any fear of bringing it into our schools."Sobocinski said school officials are frustrated, as well, by the loss of instructional time for students expelled for drug use or possession."Like many school districts, we've adopted a zero tolerance for drug use and possession in our buildings," he said. "We've had a number of expulsions this year for possession, and it's frustrating that these kids are missing out on their education."Seven students were expelled from West Allis-West Milwaukee schools during the first semester, five for drug possession, Sobocinski said. Last year, the district had 11 drug-related expulsions, more than double the total number of expulsions for all offenses in the 1997-'98 school year, according to the district.Although the prevalence of drugs in the schools is difficult to gauge, juvenile drug arrests have risen dramatically in West Allis in recent years.According to the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance in Madison, West Allis police made 118 juvenile drug arrests in 1998, up 237% over the 35 it made in 1994. That compares with a 54% increase in juvenile drug arrests for Milwaukee County overall during the same period.Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Dec. 29, 1999.  Copyright 1999, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 
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Comment #2 posted by testing2000 on January 01, 2000
 at 02:39:29 PT
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Comment #1 posted by Matt on December 29, 1999
 at 10:52:48 PT:
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