Bethlehem Schools Plan Random Drug Searches
I have to admit, when I first read this headline I was really conflicted about how I feel about random drug searches. But, the more research I do on the subject, the more I think I've decided it's a good idea. Of course, like any of the issues we write about or talk about on the radio, we want your feedback!
Here's the deal -
The Bethlehem district has noticed that there is a growing drug problem in their community. Most of the drug arrests in the town are 18-25 year olds who are recent graduates and/or brothers and sisters of current students.
In the recent past there have been quite a few student arrests, too. Most recently, a 17-year-old high school student, Nathan Sunderhaft of Delmar, who was busted just one month into the new school year after police found 225 Xanax pills, a bottle of hydrocodone syrup, more than 25 grams of Ecstasy, a fake New Jersey driver's license and almost $2,000 cash in his car.
That was enough for police and school officials to decide to become more proactive. After all, it was pretty clear that Sunderhaft was dealing, not just doing the drugs.
The district has set up educational programs for parents and students, and has also informed parents that a random check for illegal substances or explosives will be conducted in the coming weeks, with help from Bethlehem police, the Albany County Sheriff's Office and State Police K-9 units.
The district has tried to make it clear to families that these searches will continue on a regular basis for the time being, but are completely precautionary in nature.
Personally I was hesitant upon hearing this news because I fear that "random" doesn't always seem "random" to me. And, I worry that these types of searches could increase the chances of profiling in the school district. However, as a parent myself, I want my children in a safe, drug free environment while they learn and grow, so... maybe this is okay.
What do you think? Do you think it's okay for the district and police to randomly search while they are at school? Do you think this is an appropriate action to thwart drug use on the Bethlehem campus? Let us know in the comment section below.