Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Pretty young blonde (a police officer) tricks high school students to sell her pot

The Falmouth, MA police approached the local high school to plant a pretty, young, blonde police officer undercover, posing as a student to buy drugs from students, reports The Boston Globe. The new "student" told students her mother was dead and that her father was away in the Navy, that she was new in town and was lonely and depressed and asked them to help her get me some pot.

Nine teenage boys -- all boys -- were arrested, four 17-year olds, four 16-year olds, and a 14-year old.

Did the school's teachers seek police help to curb an out-of-control drug scene? No.
Did the school administration go to the police to seeking to find on-campus drug dealers? No.
The police said that "some parents" complained about "rampant" drug use.

According to the Globe, the school superintendent said that 85% of the students reported that they had not used marijuana in the past month, about typical for Massachusetts 12-17 year olds.

This trust-destroying raid may well disrupt the school environment more than the marijuana use that existed in the school. Every student feels betrayed and suspicious. Every new student will enter that school under a cloud of potential distrust for several years.

Couldn't this situation have been handled with more wisdom and compassion? If these boys had been called to a private interview in the principal's office with their parents present,
don't you think that they would have been thoroughly deterred from future drug dealing, without making an arrest? The shock of being discovered, confronted with their parents present, and told of the risk of prosecution and its consequences, would be complete deterrence for most kids.

Before a school permits the police to mount a sensational made-for-TV sting --
Has it ensured that it has an effective drug and alcohol prevention curriculum (something other than the famously ineffective D.A.R.E.)?
Are counselors readily available for students who are at risk for drug use -- such as an orphan with an absent parent who feels isolated in a new school?
Are constructive after school activities widely available to students with varied interests and talents?

The goal of drug policy at our schools should be to give our students rich and healthy futures. Falmouth police and schools have just thrown a legal hand grenade into the lives of nine young people whose conduct, while illegal and unwise, does not merit imprisonment or life long criminal sanction.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: