Dogs at Algonquin; Drug search a learning opportunity.
No one likes the idea of police officers assisted by drug-sniffing dogs searching the hallways and parking areas of a high school.
But worse is the thought of school being a safe place to stash illegal narcotics.
The search at Algonquin Regional High School in Northboro Thursday came up empty - not really a surprise, given that students and their parents were given clear advance notice of the date and time of the search. Future searches by the Northboro and Southboro police departments and the Massachusetts State Police K-9 Unit were promised, and they will be unannounced.
Algonquin's proactive measure caught the attention of school administrators and residents around the area. Illegal drug use is a worry at schools everywhere, however well-funded or well-regarded they are in academics, athletics and other areas.
Drug dogs had never been used at the high school before, and Algonquin students have now been put on notice that school is a drug-free environment. Thursday's thorough exercise put teeth in that message. The idea, police and school officials emphasize, is not so much to catch kids and arrest them, but to keep school property clear of illegal drugs.
The vast majority of students and parents want that. Algonquin's thoughtful procedure strikes us a respectful way to achieve the goal.
The hope is that students will get the message that possession of illegal drugs is not smart and never OK anywhere, at any age, whether they get away with it or not.