Like many schools, we have unexpected visits from drug dogs. The following, from April 19, 2007, is about one of those visits!
They called me out of second period this morning. At unannounced intervals, trained dogs are brought into Westbury Christian to protect our school from narcotics, alcohol, prescription drugs, firearms, etc. The canines sniff out the cars in the parking lot before entering the school building. Once inside, they smell the lockers and the classrooms after students exit, leaving their belongings at their desks. No school is immune to the pressures of the world but we try to make it as safe a learning environment as possible. Students and parents are well aware upon enrollment that this is our practice and it works. Maybe I should rephrase that last sentence. This morning, the dog, a beautiful Labrador, caught a whiff of something on my Toyota. I was summoned from my Bible 10 class to open the doors and trunk. Oscar Perez, one of our upper school administrators, was almost apologetic as we walked to the Corolla. The trainer very politely explained the procedures and the object of the searches. Of course, there was nothing to find inside. My guess is that the dog inhaled the essence of Febreze, containing alcohol, which I sprayed on the seats last week. One of the teachers suggested the pooch detected steroids. At least someone noticed I lift weights!
It's funny but I almost felt guilty in the parking lot. There was no accusation- people got a big laugh out of it- but there is unease with even a hint of wrongdoing. The faculty is held to the same code of conduct as the student body, as it should be. It made no difference that my parking permit read STAFF; the dog stopped at my car and I was obligated to make the interior available for inspection. I doubt he was speaking of being drug free but James 3:1 warns that teachers will be held accountable to a higher standard. We make assumptions of the guilt and innocence of others based on precious little evidence. I confess that if my car had belonged to certain other people, I would have already tried and convicted them mentally. In true hypocritical form, I would be furious if even one person felt I had something to hide. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:2 that, "in the same way you judge others, you will be judged." That's not good news for me. I have so many chances during a school day to judge a student's work, motives, honesty, and heart. It's easy with some kids. Joi forgot her Bible on class today; she always brings her Bible. It was easy to move past it because she's such a wonderful girl. If I gave everyone the same benefit of the doubt I grant to Joi, I would be a better teacher and my classroom would be more conducive to learning. A quick Google search turns up numerous coaches who have been taken into custody recently. A football coach in Connecticut was locked up in a gambling ring. A North Carolina State University basketball coach was jailed for resisting arrest after a driving violation. The number of coaches who have been put behind bars for sexual misconduct is too lengthy to list. There is ample evidence for jumping to conclusions when those in the coaching fraternity are deemed suspicious. Sometimes, we are innocent. Sometimes, we aren't the only ones.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Reality is just a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org