No drugs? No problem

Police searches found no drugs at Mohr High School in Michigan. So the assistant principal, who kept confiscated drugs in his desk, decided to plant marijuana in the locker of a student he suspected of dealing. The police dog failed to sniff the marijuana, and the assistant principal, now facing a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, has resigned.

(Pat) Conroy told police he came up with the idea of placing marijuana in the student’s locker early last year after several locker searches by the South Haven Police Department’s drug dog, Herbie, turned up no drugs at the school.

Why no criminal charges for the attempt to frame the student? For once, I hope there’s a lawsuit. That kid could have been the one with a criminal record, as well as being expelled from school. And all because the assistant principal wouldn’t take no for an answer. (I do wonder if Herbie’s lost his nose.)

Via Drug War Rant. Here’s the Smoking Gun.

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  1. And they probably need a new drug dog. If it failed to alert on a known pot stash, did it miss others?

  2. Dave Dahlke says:

    School administrators must have taken “How to get rid of suspected troublemakers 101” in college.

  3. Shouldn’t the principal also be arrested for illegal drug possession?

  4. And surely drug possession in a “school free drug zone” carries additional penalties!!!!

    Throw the book at him.

  5. Didn’t Conroy used to work for the dean at Faber College?

  6. He had to frame the child to save the child. The Vietnam analogies to the war on drugs just never end, do they?

  7. Ron – do we know the stash was already there when the dog failed to alert?

  8. Pretty stupid. He should have turned over confiscated drugs to the police. He should be charged.

    Also stupid. Get rid of the lockers! Just buy an extra set of books for each class. The kids take home a set and another set stays in the class.

    My wife’s school did this about 5 years ago and it has been a huge success.

  9. Having been a high school teacher for many years, it is unfortunate that you ‘know’ who the druggies are but can’t prove it. Very frustrating … however, the VP was just a tad out of line. A couple of months or so in jail would probably enlighten him a bit. Too bad he wasn’t a little more resourceful.

  10. “just a tad out of line.”

    I hope that’s intended as sarcastic understatement. This is outrageous.

  11. Correct mj … can’t get anything by you !!! Outrageous agreed!!

  12. Richard Brandshaft says:

    One suspects this is the small tip of a large iceberg. How stupid do you have to be to GET CAUGHT planting marijuana in a student’s locker? How often will the cops refuse to go along?

    One could argue that anyone dumb to do something like that is dumb enough to have a good chance of getting caught. I consider that wishful thinking. I see little evidence for a correlation between mortality and intelligence.

    Looking at cops behavior, I see no evidence that honesty is the norm, and plenty of evidence to the contrary. Maybe police in this case were honest. Or maybe they decided anyone dumb enough to tell them about a stunt like that is too dumb to be accepted as a confederate.

    Finally “it is unfortunate that you ‘know’ who the druggies are but can’t prove it. Very frustrating … ” One of the two dumbest lines in mystery stories is “I know he’s guilty, but I can’t prove it.” (The other dumb line is, “I don’t believe in coincidence.”) If you can’t prove it you don’t know he’s guilty, you just suspect it.

  13. Well Rich you sound a bit like a lawyer … ACLU type at that … however I’ll stand by it … because like it or not sometimes you do ‘know’ but can’t prove it. And, just because you can’t prove it, doesn’t necessarily make it not true … it just means they don’t get convicted. And, there are plenty of ‘druggies’ out there who’ve gotten off scott free by clever lawyers and technicalites … isn’t that comforting. I’m not looking for a police state, but let’s get real here … sometimes you just know. Ever get that feeling?

  14. Like Cooper said, Rich, there’s “knowing” and there’s “proving to a jury beyond reasonable doubt with a good lawyer”.

    One can know someone is guilty by seeing them do it, but be unable to prove anything to a jury (not that this has anything to do with this case).

    About the bahaviour of cops… why would you expect to see evidence of their honesty? When cops are honest, it’s not news, and nobody mentions it at all. I see no reason to believe that most cops are not generally honest – it’s simply that there’s little “public interest” in reports that read “Officer X was honest and forthright in his duties today”, as opposed to “Officer Y is a bad cop and plants evidence and roughs up suspects”. There are, I suspect, far more Xs than Ys, but Ys are news, while Xs are not.

    (Of course, there’s also an element of “institutional” suspicion of police and authority in many of those who were, say, teenagers in the 60s, or members of various subcultures; some of it for good reasons, much of it not. But it’s still there.)

  15. Just because you “know” something doesn’t make it so. Suspicions must be examined. And I’d very much prefer that they be examined under a legal framework.

    Some of the biggest drug users when I went to high school were A students. I’m sure there were many other students taking drugs, but those who couldn’t moderate their drug use were often the same students who couldn’t handle such things as getting to school on time, doing homework, etc.

  16. Jon, I’m not talking about suspicions, I’m talking about knowing and being unable to do anything about it. I taught school for 35 years … it’s no secret that ‘A’ students were among the ‘druggies’. The problem is that infortunately being examined under our ACLU developed legal system … is about as useful as teats on a bull!!!

  17. What kind of a system are you proposing? I prefer legal rights, limits on government intrusion, and yes, even the right to use mind-altering substances provided no one else is harmed.

    And how do you know they are druggies? Is it the long hair? the color of their skin? inattentiveness? the fact that they don’t enjoy school? what?

  18. LOL. Probably the fact that they reek of pot (under the cigarette smoke and mints) and visibly shrink back from bright light.

  19. If they reek of pot, I hope you don’t have to plant any on them or their posessions. I think a simple call to the authorities will lead to an affirmation of your suspicions, and I don’t think even the ACLU would find that out of line.

  20. Jon, sounds like you’ve been using some of that mind-altering stuff you speak of. Your mind appears a bit altered. And, as a teacher you can’t just make a simple call to the authorities. There are procedures you know…can’t violate any of the little pot head’s rights you know. And, Jon, it’s not rocket science to recognize ‘them’. I’ll sit in front of a high school and pick them out as they go by. We’ll test them for drugs, and you give me $5 for each one I get right and I’ll give you $10 for each one I get wrong. Bring lots of money Jon, you’ll need it. If we stay long enough I’ll be able to retire early.

  21. Can we hit the guy with intent to distribute too? Since he put it in a student’s locker and all, I think doing 5 at a federal pen should make him reconsider the wisdom of framing his students.

    For those that “know” who’s got drugs: would you like to be judged by the same standard? Some wacko who has athourity over you (and most of you know at least one) suddenly has the power to ruin your life, because he “knows” you did something wrong. Sound like fun? Personally, I think they should just legalize it all. They’re obviously not stopping anyone from getting high if they really want to, and they’re making criminals out of kids who arn’t hurting anyone (including themselves) in many cases.

  22. This reminds me of a gym teacher in junior high that “just knew” who had vandalized the boys locker room during the lunch hour. He spent half an hour haranguing 1,000 students about how terrible this act was, and how terrible “Joe” was.

    “Joe” was the best behaved boy I have ever known. No way had he done this. His mother was the principal’s secretary for many years, and the principal knew him well enough. The next day, this gym teacher had to apologize to 1,000 students.

  23. Yikes … the ACLU is out in force today … the point is that yeah sometimes your wrong, but most of the time you’re not. But, when you’re wrong it’s only on paper … and when you’re right it’s only on paper …because you aren’t doing anything (because you can’t prove it)… then down the road when it’s to late … some kid has gone off the deep end … and you’re left saying … shit, I knew that kid back when and I wish something could have been done before it was too late. Too many lost kids out there who if identified earlier … who knows. Yeah legalize it … great idea … there aren’t too many pot heads coming out of high schools and heading on the road to success. Are there some? … sure but they’re the exceptions … not for nothing, but there are a lot of crap jobs out there … who do you think is taking those jobs in greater numbers … Ever watch those Police shows … you know .. bad boy bad boy watcha gonna do when they come for you … usually some skinny drunk or druggie staggering around the street after some domestic quarrel … think most of those were choir boys/girls in high school? We need more scum like that!!

  24. Richard Aubrey says:

    Two points: I can know something is true because I see it. That doesn’t translate into a guilty verdict in court when it’s my word against his. It’s still true. It doesn’t unhappen, nor am I legally required (or magically made to forget) to erase my memory.
    Second; Since this VP was this dumb this time, is it conceivable it was the only time he messed up big-time? I mean, come on. He had to be this dumb, or half this dumb, on a weekly basis.

  25. jon, I don’t have any pot to plant (although I know who I could buy it from among my students!). Sometimes you know through the grapevine, but heresay isn’t actionable. And sometimes the kids tell me, and I do my best to get them hooked up with services, but that’s not provable, either. There are lots and lots of ways to know, many of them not really actionable when it comes to discipline. I’ve also got pretty good instincts at this point. I don’t take action, however, unless I can prove it. The point of taking action is to help the kid, and if I can’t prove something, the kid can wiggle out of it, and wiggling out of stuff is not doing the kid any good at all. Believe me, I have enough students who are in and out of rehab to know how they behave.

  26. Seems I’m accused of using drugs here! Wow, you guys are proving your voodoo pharmacological skills are well-tuned. I haven’t smoked anything in over fifteen years. And I never touched any of the other stuff (aside from the occasional beer) in my life.

    Reminds me of the early days of the Clinton Administration, when Bill was accused of being gay! After all, how could anyone advocate gays being in the military if he weren’t gay himself? I bet he’s glad no one told Monica.

  27. Jon, I only said sounds like … I didn’t actually accuse you … learned that teaching … can’t accuse .. that’s to abuse… Not everything that is true is necessarily provable .. like ‘white men can’t dance’ …. of course it’s true … just can’t prove it!! Yeah yeah .. Fred Astair, Gene Kelly, Michael Jackson … oops sorry ’bout that one.

    I wonder BTW how many people thought ‘slick’ wasn’t guilty when the Monica deal first came to light. Some of us just knew!!

  28. “Just knowing” isn’t much to go on. I just knew O.J. did it. So did the cop who tried to frame him. Whether or not he was guilty probably didn’t enter the jurors’ minds once the lying was revealed. In the end you get a (100% in my mind) guilty man going free because of the actions of a cop going for a slam dunk case.

    But the means justify the ends, so everything came out okay. Think of all the expelled jackasses who will be back at that high school because everything that guy every signed off on will come under question! If you thought the laws were too namby-pamby, you’ll love the results of official lawlessness.

  29. There won’t be many expelled students returning, because I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that there were very very few, as is the case in most schools. I’d have a better chance of making the NBA that having a convicted felon removed from school. Gotta have a hearing … yadda yadda yadda .. suspension … yadda yadda yadda … home teach for a few weeks …yadda yadda yadda .. BANG back in the saddle again. Expulsion is rarer than a conservative professor at Harvard. I guess Jon that you never had that feeling.

  30. “And, there are plenty of ‘druggies’ out there who’ve gotten off scott free by clever lawyers and technicalites … isn’t that comforting. ”

    Yes. It’s a good start.

    “Jon, I’m not talking about suspicions, I’m talking about knowing and being unable to do anything about it. I taught school for 35 years … it’s no secret that ‘A’ students were among the ‘druggies’. ”

    Apparently, it is, because we keep hearing that drugs fry your brain and ruin your life.

    “Can we hit the guy with intent to distribute too? Since he put it in a student’s locker and all, I think doing 5 at a federal pen should make him reconsider the wisdom of framing his students.”


    “Yeah legalize it … great idea … there aren’t too many pot heads coming out of high schools and heading on the road to success. ”

    Except for those A students you mentioned earlier.

  31. Ok Ken … I wouldn’t get too excited about the ‘A’ students who are on the ‘list’ on known druggies, and having personally seen these ‘A’ students in high school … it may interest you to know that these are the ones you see and hear about later. They’ve gotten into excellent colleges and universities and are promptly seen the next semester checking out the local community colleges. Unfortunately many a bright student who can get great grades in high school who’s chosen the ‘druggie’ route finds that they can’t cut it college, especially in the better ones that they’ve gotten into.

    You sound like an exception whose made it Ken and think everyone else can. They can’t. If you’re not, then I guess you are just waving the banner for those exceptions who did. I’m sure they’re glad all under for you’re concern. About the only thing you got right was the idiot administrator.

  32. My point is that there are going to be druggies. It’s illegal now, and that doesn’t seem to be stopping them. Nor does the threat of expulsion, eternal inability to find a job, or jail time. So lets lay off the kids who smoke an occasional joint because they’re sick of their parents planning every moment their life from birth to age 26 (I knew many of them). Did they burn out in college, drop out, and end up working for MBNA calling me at dinnertime? Yeah, a couple did. But one is at a highly ranked law school. Another is at a big 5 accounting firm. Two are going to med school. Taking the “druggies” I knew from high school (and continued their use through college), they seem to have performed as well or as poorly as a similar cross-section of the “non-druggies.” Should the successful, $65k a year, fast-track accountant be made a criminal for using a substance that he grows himself, uses himself, and doesn’t sell to anyone? Because if there’s a bust, they’ll take his house, he’ll lose his job, he’ll probably do 3 in a medium-security state pen, and when he gets out McDonalds won’t hire him because he’s a convicted fellon. Great system.

  33. Jim…I guess this has become a ‘grow you own’ let me ‘do my thing’ forum. I’m not going to debate the merits or evils of drug use. Hell, I drink … probably worse … but I don’t drink and drive nor shopuld anyone ‘do stuff’ and drive. Your argument for legalizing however is a little thin. It seems that corporate embezzlement is illegal but that doesn’t seem to be stopping them. The whole thing boils down to responsibility, and if you can tell me that 13, 14 and 15 year olds are responsible users of drugs then it’s obvious that the cheese has fallen off your cracker.

  34. 13 to 15-year-olds aren’t able to drink responsibly. So let’s put the bartender in for 12-20 years! That’ll learn ‘im!

    They also can’t handle porn, voting, credit cards, driving, utility bills, holding down a job, ironing clothes with the collars just right, taking out the trash, astrophysics, jury instructions, and many other things. We can’t have those uppity adults thinking they can do them too!

  35. Jon … and your point would be ?? (BTW … taking out the trash although tricky, I’ve actually seen it done by a 12 year old) Is non sequtur’s a speciality of your’s or does it come from … well I can’t acuse and of course I can’t know … so I’ll drop the rest of that sentence. Eagerly awaiting your next piece of ‘logic’ as to why 15 year olds need to be in a stupor!!

  36. Well, I did know several 15 y/o’s that were “responsible” users, but we’ll put them aside as outliers. That would be our A students

    Now we’ve got this big lump of kids using drugs, we’ll call them the “druggies.” Of the druggies, how many are suddenly going to be successful if we take away the drugs? Probably not many. Or, to put it bluntly, doing drugs doesn’t make bad kids, bad kids do drugs. The rebellion away from parents, teachers, and athourity figures in general is not going to go away just becaue we make the things the rebels use more illegal than they already are. I think the drug war has proven the point: you cannot legislate away drugs. Try something else.

    As for comparing drug use to embezzlement, you missed one thing: USING drugs harms no one but the user. Embezzlement harms those stolen from. The presence of harm to others should be the criteria by which we judge crime, protecting people from themselves is just letting elitist control freaks and professional nannies run (and ruin) lives because it makes the elitist feel better to know they’ve “done something.”

  37. Oh, and if you think naming a whole host of things that we allow adults but not children to engage in is a non sequitor, I think you need to go look up the term.

    15 year olds don’t “need to be in a stupor.” But making them felons isn’t stopping them (or even slowing them down much, if you believe the government’s own numbers). So we’re suggesting that maybe locking them up for substance abust isn’t the answer. Considering a prison sentence wrecks lives a whole lot faster than just the effects of drugs, I have a hard time seeing why you want to lock all of these kids up in order to save them.

  38. I did not suggest we lock them up nor make them felons… don’t know of any 15 year olds in jail off hand … hell they barely slapped the wrists of the teens who sodomized their team mates at a football camp (in PA) here on LI. And ‘drugs’ are how we are to rebel against authority and you’d like the authorities to provide the drugs or just allow it? Every kid goes through a rebellious stage … it’s normal … having to take drugs to ‘escape’ the terrible pain of not being able to stay out late on a school night, or having daddy tell you that you can’t wear that skimpy tank top to school is a little over the top
    Using drugs … harms more than just the one taking it …any one with half a brain knows that. Alcoholism as everyone knows ruins marriages, families, jobs and entire lives. And, alcohol is legal. That crap about it only harming the individual is just that …crap. You sound like a druggie who’s tired of sneaking around with your chosen life style and are ‘pissed off’ that you’re not getting everyone’s blessing. Sometimes I wonder if you people whining about legalizing pot are just using that as a ploy to drive prices down. Then I suppose that the people (kids) stealing money to buy pot won’t have to steal as much.

    So, I’ll admit that I don’t have the ‘big’ solution to kids and drugs. If had the magic wand I’d wave it, but on the other hand I never said locking them up was the answer either. BTW, as you’ll recall this began with the notion of knowing whose using drugs and who isn’t without going to the video tape and you’re on a ‘let it ride’ rant.

  39. Aw, heck, I know plenty of 15-year-olds in jail. I visit them.

    Drug use is complex. Sure, some people can use it recreationally and not suffer too much in the consequence department. Some can’t. But I think we can and should demand that our kids at least come to school straight. You can’t show up for work stoned (or drunk) without consequences, and you shouldn’t show up for school that way, either. Kids who are high are usually sorta mellow and not too much trouble (other than not learning anything, which is all my fault according to the NCLB), but the ones using other substances tend to get in a lot of fights, thereby physically harming other students. And, I, for one, really hate breaking up fights. I think only police officers and bartenders break up more fights than I do some months.

  40. D.Cooper – really mature argument there, implying that I’m a druggie (the second time this thread you’ve used that particular ad hominim, BTW). I do not and have never use drugs, I don’t smoke, I rarely even drink. I just don’t enjoy not being in 100% control of my body. But I have plenty of friends who were top students in a very competitive high school. Plenty more who were honors students at a rather prestigious university. And I’ve seen enough of these people do drugs to believe that their doing so should not be a criminal act.

    Furthermore, you are the one who was proposing a tighter crackdown on drug users, even the A students. Sounds like my arguments against criminalization are right on the topic you opened up. Or perhaps you’d like to goose-step it by me again so I can be sure?

    I think that eventually you just need to let people screw up. Some moron wants to shoot up heroin in the bathroom and OD’s? It’s not like the effects arn’t well publicised at this point, I have no pity for them. Stop trying to protect people from themselves by being their nanny. It. Does. Not. Work.

    Using drugs shouldn’t cary a penelty. What people put into their bodies is none of anyone else’s business. If they’re unable to do school work then punish them for that. If they’re fighting then punish them for that. If they’re driving under the influence then they had better have their license revoked for a minimum of five years, and then prove they’re clean before they can have it back. Second offense, never drive again and jail time for attempted manslaughter. I’m all for being hard on behavior that puts others at risk, but punish the risky part of the behavior. Stop blaming the drugs. The ounce of pot most of your A-student druggies use is not to blame for the doped-up slackers who will still be doped up and slacking no matter how much you are allowed to play gestapo.

    In closing, allow me to pose a question. Since you claim to not be for locking kids up, what do you propose we DO with the kids you “know” are druggies? And how will this make their lives better than just letting them have the drugs they may or may not posess?

  41. By the way (better?) your last post above this has no name … not all of protecting people from themselves is ‘bad’ … we have seat belt laws, motorcycle helmet laws etc. … the ‘druggies’ I originaly refered to were not ‘A’ students who probably are less likely to come to school stoned. And of course they came to school. And I’m sure that there are plenty of successful people who use pot recreationally as there are successful people who drink. But, don’t tell me they only affect themselves. There are some pretty successful people in jail for vehicular homicide. Those usually involve a victim.

    I did not propose a tighter crackdown … I did not propose jailing them … I only said that it was unfortunate that there were kids you knew were not only users but dealers as well. If you can agree at least that if comparable to alcohol there should be an age restriction on ‘pot’ as well then there is no place for it a high school. Any kid found at the very least dealing in school should be expelled. Period. Jail … probably not, a little community service and some time in a detention center. (weeks not months or years).

    You have a small contradiction with your claim that what people put into their bodies is no one else’s business, and then in the same breath tell me to punish them if they fight, don’t do their homework, or kill someone on the highway.

    And to answer you question … how will this make their lives better than just letting them have their drugs .. f-them … how about making my life better so I don’t have to break up drug related fights or get a knock on my door at 3AM with some cop telling me my son or daughter was killed by some drunk or druggie. Luckily I’ve only had to do the former.

    And BTW oops … by the way … I only said you sound ‘like’ a druggie. It’s a technicality I know … lawyers know about those things. Sorry to imply that, but it did sound like that. My bad!

  42. This is going to be a little disjointed. I would usually quote the relevant passage I am attacking, but I can’t stand to see that garbage reprinted again. That, and this thread doesn’t need to get that much longer.

    So if I were to say you sounded “like” a control freak with an attitude problem, neurosis and an IQ of 60, that isn’t the same as an accusation? Ok. You sound like a control freak with an attitude problem, neurosis, and an IQ of 60.

    I’m against helmet laws and seat belt laws too. I am 100% against using public money to protect someone from themself.

    You seem awful concerned with the welfare of others to suddenly have to fall back on a self-interest position to defend your drug views. I don’t see a helmetless motorcyclist cost you anyting in either time or money (it’s less expensive, actually, because they die instead of needing physical therapy). So thanks for taking one of your own arguments fof the table for me. It’s nice to know you won’ be using the “it’s for the children” BS.

    I support an age restriction on the sale of drugs, but only so that kids can make an informed decision about whether they want to use them. I still don’t think posession should be a crime. As for expelling all of the kids caught with drugs, great idea! Then we can have a buch of kids with drugs AND no schooling wandering your neighborhood! Fantastic idea! And to think some of these hooligan scumbags could have been masquerading as productive citizens!

    You DID propose a tighter crackdown. You said that it was unfortunate that you couldn’t go after the ones you KNOW are druggies. Guess what, oh mensa member? THAT IS A CRACKDOWN! You are removing rights of due process that protect honest and possibly drug-free students from small-minded vindictive goons such as yourself.

    If you need me to spell out the difference between putting people in prison (or a detention center, Incarceration is incarceration) for having a chemical in their bloodstream and harming someone else then I weep for whomever you have been teaching. The line is clear: drugs don’t hurt other people. People hurt other people. Don’t punish the ones that arn’t hurting other people. Punish severely the ones that do hurt other people. Clear enough for you, or should I use smaller words?

    Finally “lawyers know about those things.” What the hell was that supposed to mean? Are you implying that you are a member of your state’s bar association, that you have a member of that dubious profession in your employ, or that I should care in either case? I’m through with you.

  43. Well well .. the comment regarding lawyers and technicalities … you know, the search warrant didn’t say this or that but they found this or that … I don’t think that’s a difficult concept for you … you haven’t heard about these things … Your insistance that drugs don’t harm other people is somewhere between laughable and just plain ignorant … I think ignoance. People like you are a danger to the rest of society … my only consolation is in knowing that kooks like you are in a minority. I’m not accusing now, you are a kook.

    As for a control freak … I guess if you think not having to break up fights, be concerned about one of your ‘drugged up’ kids plowing into me or one of my kids, or having to deal with some kid being disruptive in my class (you see their are others kids there that I’m paid to teach) then call me a control freak. You see, as you stated, I like to be in control of the situation also (be it teaching or driving down the highway) and the fewer ‘drugies’ who can disrupt that, all the better.

    BTW, these ‘dealers’ that you don’t want to expel or otherwise deal with …what would you like the schools to do ..(I’m assuming that your take is that from 8AM to 4PM they’re our responsibility) And just in case you didn’t know, wandering the streets is what most of them do anyway … they only come to school on occasion to raise a little cash, cause some havoc then off again. I’d just as soon they stay away, so that my job of teaching those who wish an education can get one … if that’s ok with you …. OR do you want us to babysit all the ‘dealers’ for you. My son was in a serious car accident… no seat belt … accident his fault … wouldn’t have bother me if he had or someone had insisted he wear it. And, I’m not going to debate helmet laws, but I’d guess you’re against child restraints. Don’t know if you’ve got any, but I bet if you had an infant child in a car he/she would be strapped in. If not then you are a fool.