Police execute commando-style drug raid on High School.

Students at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, S.C. got a lesson in drug enforcement the other day when armed police stormed the school and ordered everyone on the floor while they conducted a massive drug sweep.

CBS News | Drug Raid At S.C. High School | November 7, 2003 20:52:02

The school’s principal defends the dramatic sweep, caught on the school’s surveillance tape. Police came into the school with guns at the ready, ordered all students to lie on the floor and then handcuffed anyone who apparently didn’t comply quickly enough.

“We received reports from staff members and students that there was a lot of drug activity. Recently we busted a student for having over 300 plus prescription pills. The volume and the amount of marijuana coming into the school is unacceptable,” said principal George McCrackin.

Police didn’t find any criminals in the armed sweep, but they say K-9 dogs smelled drugs on a dozen backpacks. Goose Creek police and school administrators defend the draconian measures as necessary for crime prevention.

Used to be this was the sort of thing you’d expect to hear about in places like the Soviet Union. I suppose if draconian enforcement methods are good enough for the Russians then they’re good enough to use on American High School Students. Remember to have your papers ready at all times to produce when demanded by your superiors!

Thanks to Connie for pointing this story out to me.

8 thoughts on “Police execute commando-style drug raid on High School.

  1. Being that so many kids are desensitized to “Just say no” and “Tiddly Winks..my anti-drug” I think scaring the holy shit out of them and cuffing the uncooperative ones (if they don’t comply _now_ during a school raid, what’s to say they won’t when they get busted at the drug house?) is a fine way of showing them “hey. we are SERIOUS.”

  2. But is the answer to bash the sense into them this way, or to try take us back to a time when “just say no” actually meant something?

    If we follow a (reasonably logical, I think) thread in which doing something causes desensitization, then what we get amounts to:

    -school raids with armed police officers becomes commonplace
    -armed police officers no longer inspire terror but “fuck this shit” and kids start skipping school to avoid them
    -the kids that skip school either: indulge in more drug abuse, just not in school; start doing drugs because of lack of anything else to do; and/or wind up doing nothing with their lives
    PLUS wind up with no high school education, making it difficult for them to gain any work beyond menial labour.

    The outward ripple continues from there.

    I do not think the answer is to forcibly threaten these children. If one of them HAD stood up to the police, what would the reaction have been? A shooting? Then there is a dead child, for the sole reason that they did not agree with the actions being taken. If the police had not shot? Then the threat is rendered meaningless, as obviously this was not a “serious” drug raid.

    The entire situation is wholly inappropriate, to my mind. There are better ways of teaching teenagers – and children, and even adults – rather than a show of force.

  3. I grew up in Pontiac, Michigan (not exactly a pristine community). For three of the four years I attended high school it was in Pontiac Central, a very large school holding some 2,000 to 3,000 students and built in such a way that it resembled a prison more so than a school.

    Despite that environment I’ve never knowingly ingested an illegal substance even though there were drugs prevalent at the school and I knew enough people involved in that scene that had I wanted to try them I could have. A good number of my friends in that school also managed to stay out of the drug culture. This was back during the heyday of the “just say no” campaigns (1982-1984) and I can tell you with certainty that hearing “just say no” didn’t have any influence in our decision not to get involved with drugs. Most of us mocked the ads as being pretty stupid.

    My point being was that even in a less-than-stellar school district in a less-than-desirable city with a known drug issue at the time there were still a lot of us who were not only innocent, but had no interest in getting involved with drugs. Yet in the scenario described in the news item I linked to I would’ve had a gun pointed at me and a K9 unit snapping at my heels while I’m being ordered to lay down on the floor with no explanation as to what the hell is going on as though I were guilty until proven innocent.

    How is that right? Why is it suddenly OK to assume that everyone is involved in criminal activity until they can prove they are not? Greg, do you really want your kids to be treated like criminals until it’s proven they’re not? What’s next? Random shake downs of people walking by on the street on the off-chance they might be carrying drugs?

  4. Commando raids aren’t the answer.  I can see that just making the police look bad in the eyes of MORE kids.  Treating someone like shit just makes them more likely to disrespect and hate you.  Fear does not equal respect. 

    When I was in high school, they would run the drug dogs by the lockers while everyone was in class.  It wasn’t made into a big scene, but we knew the dogs were used.  I don’t remember anyone getting busted for drugs in their locker, but there were plenty who did drugs, and some who would show up high in the morning.  It only acts as a deterrent, and shouldn’t be viewed as the total solution.

  5. I currently live in Charleston and believe me it is a big deal. Weapons did not need to be drawn and even if drugs were sniffed out in student’s backpacks it would be legal to search them then and there. None were! It has been reported over and over that no drugs were found.

    This is a disturbing incident and serves to illustrate the attitudes of some of those in law enforcement in post 9/11 USA. It was a show of force and control only, that the principle felt he wanted to instigate. It sounds too convenient to cite the K-9 unit’s dogs findings, while having no bust to show for it. We can’t ask the dogs if their masters are telling the truth.

    Les am I right in suspecting that your disinterest in drugs in high school may have been affected by your religious beliefs at the time? Could you have been percieved as a “goody goody”?
    Just curious, and asking for the hell of it. I wasn’t so good myself.

  6. Oh, just to clear one thing up, I’m “Connie”… I had to use my mothers email. You can see some of the video shot from hallway cameras at newsites. Weapons weren’t needed to be drawn, but the sudden police presense and run of dogs was a brilliant idea… but the major flaw was definately that no arrests were made.
    I did read that the Principal had suspisions of activities involving drugs, including video tapes of “hand-offs”. Also, he said his “informants” (prolly concerned students) told him the dealers were probably armed. All facts will have to be revealed before final judgement can be made, but something tells me the principal was exaggerating the actual problem abit, but whether he did or didn’t one thing is for sure… he best start looking for a new job. Maybe something in the Department of Corrections. (Although public school systems really aren’t much different then Minimum Security Facilities) wink

  7. It’s stupid, impulsive decisions like this that cause the public to generalize law enforcement as a bunch of abusive, power-hungry pigs.

    Then again, what about the people running our government?  George Orwell must be rolling in his grave.

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