Law & Courts

Accounts Differ in S.D. Suit Over Drug-Sniffing Dogs

By Andrew Trotter — August 07, 2002 1 min read

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against school and law- enforcement officials in Wagner, S.D., for using dogs to conduct two drug searches that the suit contends caused “terror” to children as young as age 6.

Filed July 25 in the U.S. District Court in Sioux Falls, S.D., the suit names 17 students who allegedly were terrorized by the searches.

It asks that the case be made a class action on behalf of all 800 students at the rural Wagner Community School, located near the Yankton Sioux Reservation, in the south- central part of the state. Forty percent of the students are Native American.

The suit alleges that police officers led a police dog through the classroom, and that on one occasion, the dog slipped its leash in a kindergarten class and chased pupils around the room. It says that some students had been traumatized by previous dog attacks, and that many children were crying and trembling during the searches this spring.

It also claims that school officials had insufficient suspicion to warrant the searches and seeks a ban on dog searches at the school

Allegations Disputed

Ken Cotton, the lawyer for the school board, gave a starkly different description of the searches, which he said took place on April 24 and May 6 at the Wagner district’s K-12 school.

“When the searches were occurring—and I hesitate to call them searches—it was more like dogs passing through classrooms,” Mr. Cotton said. And the K-2 pupils and their classrooms were not even searched, and neither dog escaped its leash or chased any children, he maintained.

According to Mr. Cotton, police brought the specially trained dogs to the school because of two complaints by parents that their children had seen students in possession of marijuana on the school playground, and because a survey of students had found that they perceived the school had a drug problem.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the August 07, 2002 edition of Education Week as Accounts Differ in S.D. Suit Over Drug-Sniffing Dogs

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Embracing Student Engagement: The Pathway to Post-Pandemic Learning
As schools emerge from remote learning, educators are understandably worried about content and skills that students would otherwise have learned under normal circumstances. This raises the very real possibility that children will face endless hours
Content provided by Newsela

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts Some Takeaways for Educators in Supreme Court Rulings on Obamacare, Religious Liberties
The justices rejected a challenge to Obamacare on standing grounds while ruling narrowly in a case involving foster care in Philadelphia.
6 min read
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021.
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021.
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP
Law & Courts The Opioid Crisis Hit Schools Hard. Now They Want Drug Companies to Pay Up
School districts have collectively spent at least $127 billion on services for students affected by opioid addiction, recent court filings say.
12 min read
An arrangement of Oxycodone pills in New York, pictured on Aug. 29, 2018. A new study shoots down the notion that medical marijuana laws can prevent opioid overdose deaths. Chelsea Shover of Stanford University School of Medicine and colleagues reported the findings Monday, June 10, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The painkiller Oxycodone is among the opioids implicated in a health crisis that has school districts joining with states and municipalities in seeking damages from drug manufacturers.
Mark Lennihan/AP
Law & Courts High Court Asks Biden Administration Views on Harvard Affirmative Action in Admissions
Some had expected U.S. Supreme Court justices to jump at the chance to reconsider the practices in education, but that's delayed for now.
3 min read
In this Nov. 10, 2020 photo the sun rises behind the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court seemed concerned Tuesday, Dec. 1, about the impact of siding with food giants Nestle and Cargill and ending a lawsuit that claims they knowingly bought cocoa beans from farms in Africa that used child slave labor. The court was hearing arguments in the case by phone because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Supreme Court is still weighing whether to hear a case challenging Harvard University's race-conscious admissions policies.
Alex Brandon/AP
Law & Courts If Critical Race Theory Is Banned, Are Teachers Protected by the First Amendment?
Bills to rein in how race and other controversial topics are taught have thrust K-12 teachers into a thicket of free speech issues.
10 min read
Image shows a teacher in a classroom.
skynesher/E+