Students Take a Stand against Drug Dogs

Two high school seniors decide to fight against the Interquest drug-sniffing dogs.

Written by RAYMOND TRAN / Published December 10, 2010

Two high school seniors are taking a stand against a decades-old school policy at Temple City High School: unannounced dog searches.

The seniors are Jonathan Huynh and Mark Lamb.

“We believe that the random use of drug-sniffing dogs in public schools, particularly the sniffing of student-occupied classrooms, is an invasion of civil rights of students,” Huynh said.

According to the seniors, the unannounced searches inside classrooms are not only immoral, but also unconstitutional.

Huynh and Lamb cite the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution as their legal argument against the searches.

The Fourth Amendment states that “the right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The students further cite Horton v. Goose Creek and B.C. v. Plumas. The former court case declares that dog sniffs are constituted as a form of a search, while the latter declares that such searches are unconstitutional.

Despite being deemed unconstitutional, the policy remains on the school books. In response, Lamb and Huynh have written to the Temple City High School newspaper, Rampage, and have contacted the National Youth Rights Association (NYRA).

“We have been receiving support and legal advice from the NYRA,” Lamb said. “Now [we] have successfully started the NYRA Los Angeles [branch].”

Lamb does not believe the complete removal of the searches is necessary, rather he thinks that such searches should only be conducted if the school has reasonable suspicion to do so.

The students have already met with an administrator and will soon meet with legal representatives of Interquest, the organization contracted to perform the drug detection searches.

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