It was last week that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a search for drugs on school grounds violates student rights. Some were concerned this meant students, on public property, would gain an undue sense of confidence in their own authority and that it would be tougher for adults and parents to enforce just about anything.
Have a read of “Kilt trip“–the journey of a perfectly delightful writer and social commentator, Dawn Eden (I’ve heard her live) into a Canadian high school and I’m sure we’ll all agree that those concerns are ill-founded. Move along, there’s nothing to see here.
Tanya adds: How a court even goes about disallowing drug-sniffing dogs on public property (schools or elsewhere) is beyond me.
So much for the plan to introduce gun-detecting dogs in GTA schools.
Better to be sorry than safe. (That’s how the saying goes, isn’t it? I’m all confused these days.)
Véronique adds: Well, really, what the judgment says is that one cannot go on a “fishing expedition” with a drug-sniffing dog in a public space. You must have grounds to believe that you will find drugs in the said place before bringing in the puppy.
My question: Isn’t being in a high school reason enough?
Rebecca adds: Look, the reality is that minors don’t have the same rights as adults. This by no means gives schools, police or parents the right to abuse them, but it’s just silly to adduce from the use of drug-sniffing dogs in schools some sort of general collapse of civil liberties. Minors need parental permission to join the military, get married, and in some cases work – it would be an appalling breach of human rights if adults needed permission from a third party to do any of these, but most of us think it’s common sense that kids need parental guidance on some of these matters. Giving autonomous adults arbitrary restrictions on their freedom, religious worship and clothing would be fundamentally wrong and also illegal, and yet apart from some of the nuttier (and usually childless) left, nobody objects to parents giving their kids curfews, raising them in their own religion, and making an effort (often futile) to stop them from dressing like trollops or street urchins.
Of course, minors also have rights that other people don’t have, largely to do with the obligations of others (their parents, and when they fail spectacularly, the state) to provide them with food, shelter, education and basic security. The relationship between parent and child, or between someone acting in loco parentis and a child, is not a perfect parallel for the relationship between state and citizen, and it shouldn’t be.
Again, though, are we then to ban drug-sniffing dogs in airports? Do we need any grounds to do so? Apparently not, says this article in today’s Gazette:
So may I ask what in the world the difference is?