Drug War

Drug-Sniffing Dogs in Schools Spark New Zealand Debate

Have another hit, Fido

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Ensuring drug sniffer dogs continue to detect illegal drugs in schools is essential in dealing with young people's addiction and keeping them in education, a leading Northland youth counsellor says.

Jenny Rooney-Gibbs of Rubicon, a youth alcohol and drug support service based in Whangarei, backed the continued use of dogs and drug testing in schools, saying it was beneficial to children dealing with such issues.

The Education Amendment Bill, which was introduced to Parliament last month, states teachers and contractors cannot use sniffer dogs to search a student or bag under a student's control. Schools cannot use physical force, or require a student to provide a bodily sample, and cannot do random or blanket searches of a student or a bag under a student's control. Dogs can be used only to search school buildings when there are no students present.