According to a recent headline in The Union, the Drug War has claimed six more victims in Nevada County. Six young men are facing criminal charges, expulsion from high school, loss of graduation, loss of college scholarships and financial aid. If this follows the pattern of other school drug sting operations, we’ll see recreational drug users who thought they were helping friends with a shared interest in getting high. Not predators. Not profiteers. Not gangsters.
Of course we want to show young students that getting high is a bad choice, and sharing drugs with peers is wrong. But schools should focus on educating youth, on inspiring good behavior for good health and success. Undercover cops on campus send the wrong message — fear, mistrust and harsh consequences detached from the actual harm done.
Nothing good comes of singling out a few teens making bad choices and depriving them of the opportunity to learn, make good choices and thrive as adults. The cure — prosecution, expulsion, public humiliation — is worse than the disease. We can expect law enforcement to use these methods; it is what they are trained to do. But the school district should be ashamed of participating in a war on students.