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Byron Shire
January 29, 2022

Sniffer dogs outside schools a real worry

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For progressive thinkers and advocates of civil liberties alike, the sight of random police and sniffer dog activities at our local high school should send shock waves around the shire.

For those who use the same state-sponsored rhetoric that ‘if you’re doing nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about’ and/or ‘the school has a spiralling drug problem and something needs to be done’ then you are simply part of the problem rather than the solution.

The escalation of State secrecy, excessive policing, xenophobic race relations and a firming up of a return to ‘the good old days’ speaks volumes as to why we should not only be concerned, but be prepared to act in defending the lifestyle we have.

Nationalism is a first step towards a fascist state, and with asylum seekers now simply known as illegal immigrants, and all possible future plans towards a renewable and safer planet put on hold, it needs to be our own communities and schools who decide how to deal with problems within our classrooms.

Every police officer and their dog is a state tool, trained to maintain the privilege and power relations of a small minority who have neither the transparency or accountability to be considered friendly or cute.

They are there to put the fear of god into our 15-year-old sons and daughters who may have just been turned on to the delights of a hash joint or a tobacco laden bong inside a safe tipi at Splendour, or around the back of the football pitches.

These rites of passage are rife in this part of the world and should be supported and monitored but not criminalised and turned into a witch hunt.

This type of state-sponsored overkill can ruin good teachers’ lives, it can also change the course of a young man or woman’s life overnight for the worse.

What we really need to be asking here is what the hell the state is trying to achieve?

What are their motives? and why was Mullumbimby High School picked out over Mount St Pats or Xavier College?

If the school has a problem with certain dope smoking kids, then initiate new programs to improve the situation, demand more resources from the state government, dob in a druggie, implement school swab tests or simply offer the class a bikkie mid lesson and see who raises their hands first.

As long as these proposals are designed and initiated by school staff, students and parents alike, then let it be.

There are a hundred positive proactive high school drug reform programs out there on the internet.

Get active, get inclusive, get clever, but don’t get fooled and sucked in by the state’s lowest common denoominator in the fight for our children’s future.

As a trained youth facilitator, I am only too happy to offer support and ideas for any future strategies towards a more compassionate and ethical solution.

Kol Dimond, Mullumbimby

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