Posted by: pendrops | November 7, 2006

willing to give

locker.jpg

Today, I read a news tidbit* about a drug and weapon search at a local high school. It took me back to my own high school in Illinois. Good ole Limestone. I smiled as I remembered the way the Bartonville police marched in with their K-9 unit. The way our principle came over the speakers announcing that the teachers’ meeting had been changed from 3:00 to 3:30. The way the teachers then glided to the classroom doors, pulled them shut, and locked them, as if that’s what you do in the middle of a lesson on sign, cosign and tangent. The way we students shifted in our seats wondering who was gonna get busted this time.

But that was over 10 years ago. And times have changed. According to this article, when the student body president at a Nashville high school found out that authorities were searching students’ cars and lockers, he sent a press release to nearly every Nashville media source. He blasted the officials, claiming invasion of privacy and deeming the incident an “alarming new policy.”

Maybe it’s just my old-fashioned-ness talking here, but I’m glad cops still go into schools with burly, snarling dogs to remove dangerous, illegal possessions from the premises. That’s tax dollars put to good use: keeping us sane people safe. In this recent search, officers found drugs in one student’s possession and a steak knife in another student’s car. In the searches at my high school, drugs and guns turned up almost every time.

Since 9/11, invasion of privacy has become a hot topic. Some say the government has taken it too far, infringing on our civil liberties. Big Brother is definitely watching. But he doesn’t scare me so much. I figure we don’t live in a perfect world, so sometimes we need to be willing to give a little for the greater good.

No one has come up with a solution that marries total safety with complete privacy. But in the meantime, if searching cars, lockers, laptop bags, suitcases and purses makes us a bit safer at schools, airports, and concerts, go for it. Dig through my undies, socks and tampons. Shine your light on my lip gloss, pack of gum, and Vera Bradley wallet.

I don’t mind the searches as long as they really do make us safer. As long as they aren’t an illusion of security. As long as the dogs find dude with the steak knife before he goes postal.

*article entitled “Bueller? Bueller?”

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