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North Farmington 'Lockdown' Exercise Nets Marijuana Possession Ticket

Police found a small amount of marijuana as K-9s-in-training searched lockers and cars.

A planned lock-down exercise at today resulted in a student being ticketed for marijuana possession and angered some students. 

In an email sent out to the North Farmington list serv at 9:52 a.m., school officials wrote that the exercise was part of an "ongoing effort to ensure a safe and successful learning environment" for the school's more than 1,400 students. It also offered a training opportunity for K-9 teams not only in Farmington Hills, but around the Detroit metropolitan area. 

"This helps their teams train in a real environment, and it also gives NFHS one more valuable way to ensure the safety, well-being, and success of your daughters and sons," officials wrote. 

Chief Nebus said K-9s from Canton Township, Trenton, Flat Rock, Hamtramck, Garden City and Grosse Pointe, as well as Hills K-9 Argos, searched both lockers and vehicles in the school parking lot.

"We try to bring in a bunch so we can get in and out as quickly as we can," he said. Dogs "hit" on three lockers and nine vehicles, resulting in interviews with those students. 

"This was done as a precautionary measure," Nebus said, "not in response to anything that occurred at the school."

A similar exercise was done last year at , he added. 

The North Farmington drill "went very well. The success is we only found a very small amount of marijuana in a car in the parking lot."

A few students took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the way the exercise was handled. Twitter users created the hashtags #occupynorth and #occupynorthbegins, identifying with the nationwide movement protesting economic and social inequality. 

Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch was unable to reach North Farmington's administration for comment.

Cheryl Shah January 20, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Miriam, I'm still confused as to what is different between what the board does now, and what you've described here. Could you elaborate on the following one of your statements please? "If I held public office there would be a period where the public could definitely be part of the meeting."
Cheryl Shah January 24, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Terry, Being legal does not imply being effective, desirable, and/or morally right. A moment's reflection should bring to mind a number of things that used to be legal in the US that are none of the latter. But if you need help, just ask. The FPS website says there are 1349 students at NFHS. Apparently, 1348 of them already didn't bring drugs to school, even without having experienced this kind of intimidation. Yet this search treated all of them as though they are inherently untrustworthy. I've typed and deleted several attempts to explain why that matters so much, but I don't think I have the ability to communicate it to you at this time. I'll just say I think your reasoning "people tend to do things the elicit favorable responses and avoid those that have negative results" is vastly oversimplified. People are complex, and in reality are often motivated to do things that have negative results in response to feeling that they have been treated unfairly.
Miriam Breslauer January 24, 2012 at 04:48 PM
I plan on attending the School Board Meeting tonight with my husband. I really hope the rest of you join us. Due to a Supreme Court ruling in the last week, searches of cars without a warrant or the owner's consent is not legal.
Miriam Breslauer January 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM
I appologize. I might not be able to make it. My health just took a turn for the worse. I really hope someone else can make it and explain the problem to the School Board. Cars are private property and searches without a warrant violate the Fourth Amendment which protects the "right of the people to be secure in teheir persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures," and a car is an "effect." This was firmly established in case law on Monday 1/23/11 in United States v. Jones. So if a cop ever asks to search your vehicle, require that they show you their warrant first. Even if you have nothing to hide, it is important to stand up for your rights. It is your right no matter your age or the location of the vehicle. School lockers are allowed to be searched because they are the school's property and not your own. A closed backpack in a locker is more questionable on whether it can be searched.
Cheryl Shah January 25, 2012 at 05:26 PM
You can email the Board of Ed at boardofed@farmington.k12.mi.us. I think it's just as worthwhile as speaking at a meeting - possibly more so.

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