Do you remember the song, “Who let the dogs out?”
New Canaan is about to join Wilton and Greenwich with a variation on that comic refrain, but the chorus will instead be “Who let the dogs in?”
We…let the dogs in.
And the police too.
Everyone can agree that protecting our children from alcohol and illegal drugs in schools is of paramount importance. At the same time, parents should not blindly endorse K-9 searches of schools under what has become a hackneyed and misinformed non-philosophy most commonly expressed as “if I have nothing to hide, why should I care”?
As a culture, we virtually take it for granted that kids will drink and at least smoke weed. Although there are many educators, political leaders and law enforcement people who vocally and actively oppose such behavior, there are too many people of each category who are at best apathetic about teens getting drunk and high.
We are also far too accustomed to the presence and intrusion of law enforcement into our communities, our neighborhoods and our schools. As a nation, we have become conditioned to an ever-increasing, day-to-day insinuation of police into every aspect of our existence.
Isn’t it horribly ironic that better, more diligent, more careful parenting can reduce both teenage alcohol and drug use, and police presence in the our families and children’s lives?
The absolute truth is that when we are vigilant as parents, there’s a lot less alcohol, weed and other illegal drugs around our kids and police have less to do too.
As for the non-philosophy about having nothing to hide, that way of limited thinking counts upon absolutely everybody, educators, administrators and police, performing their jobs with absolute accuracy and for all the absolutely right reasons.
K-9 dogs and police entering schools because a school administrator has found “reasonable suspicion” makes me very uneasy. It should make you uneasy too.
Be aware of your children’s activities, habits and any changes in behavior. Be the foremost student of your own student-son’s and student-daughter’s comings and goings, preferences and friends. Love them enough to ask, ask again, watch and keep watching.
And before they walk into a “reasonable suspicion” interview at school, teach your adolescent about their rights, or better yet, have them speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about the risks of alcohol and drugs AND the preservation of their Constitutional rights. It is our mission at the Maddox Law Firm, and in fact we are highly educated and trained in both categories.
Call us before you let the dogs in.