Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

RE: 'Drug-sniffing dogs will be used at Potter Jr. High' [Village News, 8/21/08]

I stand behind the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District for their determination to keep our campuses drug-free. Assistant Superintendent Whitlock claims “99 percent of the parents are going to welcome anything we can do to make sure our facilities are drug-free.”

I was one of the parents who attended the August 18 FUESD governing board meeting. I opposed the proposal. Not all parents welcome anything. There are limits. A drug-free environment is one part of a safe learning environment. Intimidation of the entire student population through random, disruptive searches with German shepherds undermines a safe learning environment more than it contributes to it.

PJH has earned the respect of the community through years of commitment, implementing effective programs such as AVID and PLUS. Every adult at PJH leads by example. The students are taught critical thinking and personal responsibility. The trust and communication between PJH’s staff and students provides the greatest source of information as to who is using and selling drugs on campus. It is the school’s best defense.

What are we doing? Testing an unproven program on our children, most of whom are responsible and respectful, taking them out of instruction, perhaps hoping that they do not have thorough knowledge of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution (which is an eighth grade California State Standard), distancing them from the very people they are currently going to for guidance? This is a bad lesson plan.

Kristen Hughes


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