Editorial: Students' best friend

On Friday, drug-sniffing dogs will patrol the halls and parking lots of Wilton High School. They will be searching for illicit material brought to school by students. With the advance notice that has been given, it is unlikely anything will turn up, but you never know.
It is unfortunate it has come to this, but it is not surprising. There are schools where students must walk through metal detectors to get to class. Police have been part of the school community for several years.
Drugs are a real problem. If bad habits can be found in middle or high school, perhaps it is possible to avoid tragic outcomes.
Marijuana is usually tagged as the gateway drug, but prescription pills also spell trouble. In middle school students may be prescribed Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit disorders. They might share these pills along with the prescriptions they are provided to “come down” from the effects of Adderall, such as Xanax. Some kids might take a look in Mom or Dad’s bathroom and swipe a few painkillers. Who really counts them?
This can lead to bigger and stronger drugs affluent teens can afford.
WhiteHouse.gov lists Connecticut as one of the top 10 states for drug dependence among young adults from 18 to 25.
The same report shows heroin by far at the top of the state’s drug treatment episodes — more than 8,000.
No one ever wants to believe their child is abusing substances of any kind. But blindness in this case can cost more than ignorance — it can cost lives.
Wilton High School officials and the police do not expect to find anything on Friday. But future searches will take place, and they won’t be publicized. Officials say Middlebrook will get its turn as well.
But schools can only do so much. This issue must be faced at home. Parenting is not easy. None of us can know everything. But asking questions and accounting for any kind of drug we put in our child’s possession, or have at home, is part of parental responsibility. If you have drugs at home that are no longer needed, they may be disposed of anonymously at Wilton police headquarters.
No one wants to believe their child is using drugs. But everyone can’t be right that it is not their child.
Parents, ask questions. Violate privacy. Look at their phone. Look in their car. It is shocking how many traffic arrests made by Wilton police turn into drug infractions.
And no one should look at the police dogs as an invasion of privacy. They could just be a student’s best friend.