Law & Courts

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

By Andrew Trotter — August 07, 2002 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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 October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
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
Data Webinar
Using Integrated Analytics To Uncover Student Needs
Overwhelmed by data? Learn how an integrated approach to data analytics can help.

Content provided by Instructure
Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management

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 Critical Race Theory Law Violates Teachers' Free Speech, ACLU Argues in New Lawsuit
The lawsuit alleges Oklahoma's law harms students of color and weakens what all students learn about the state's history.
4 min read
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, above, is named in a new lawsuit alleging that the state's recent law restricting teaching on race and sex is unconstitutional.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, above, is named in a new lawsuit alleging that the state's recent law restricting teaching on race and sex is unconstitutional.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
Law & Courts Parkland Victims' Families Reach $25M Settlement With Broward School District
The largest payments will go to the 17 families whose children or spouses were killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.
Scott Travis, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
3 min read
In this Feb. 15, 2018, file photo, law enforcement officers block off the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., following a deadly shooting at the school.
In this Feb. 15, 2018, file photo, law enforcement officers block off the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., following a deadly shooting at the school.
Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo
Law & Courts Justice Sotomayor Denies Bid to Block Vaccine Mandate for New York City School Employees
The Supreme Court justice's refusal involves the COVID-19 vaccine requirement in the nation's largest school district.
2 min read
In this Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, senior Clinical Research Nurse Ajithkumar Sukumaran prepares the COVID 19 vaccine to administer to a volunteer, at a clinic in London. British scientists are beginning a small study comparing how two experimental coronavirus vaccines might work when they are inhaled by people instead of being injected. In a statement on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, researchers at Imperial College London and Oxford University said a trial involving 30 people would test vaccines developed by both institutions when participants inhale the droplets in their mouths, which would directly target their respiratory systems.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Oct. 1 denied a request to block a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees of the New York City school system.
Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
Law & Courts Here Are the Upcoming Supreme Court Cases That Matter for Schools
Major cases on school choice and religious schools will be heard, along with a case on whether school boards can reprimand outspoken members.
9 min read
In this June 8, 2021 photo, with dark clouds overhead, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington.
The U.S. Supreme Court's new term opens in early October with several cases that could impact K-12 schools.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP