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What's in Your Bag?

I'll probably sound like The Old Man from Pawn Stars as I say this, but back in my day, partying was a lot more wholesome than it is now. Sure, we'd have booze and cigarettes at raves and concerts, and in the late 90's, that's as risky as it gets. Well, at least that was the case in the parties that I had been to.
Photo credit: NME Magazine.
These days, the party culture is on a totally different level. Partying now involves not just nicotine and alcohol, but also prescription medication and/or recreational drugs.

But what makes these 'party drugs' a lot more worrisome is that their presence and availability is not limited to parties or bars and clubs alone. If you're keeping up with the news, then you've probably heard of the recent arrest of two college students involved in illegal drug trade. Yes, college students, one of them already in his senior year.
Illegal drug substances amounting to Php 1.5 million were found
inside the condominium unit of one of the arrested college students.
This prevalence of 'party drugs' and other illegal substances among the youth is the mainspring of  NCRPO Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar's proposal of implementing random bag and locker inspections in schools. This proposition was made after the police chief received reports that even elementary students are involved in illegal drug trade. Yes, you read it right, elementary students - kids probably the same age as my son.

"The background is because there was a case, elementary students that were caught in possession of 20 or 30 sachets of marijuana na binebenta sa school at ginagamit pa nila so well that was the result of the inspection that [was] conducted by the teacher," Eleazar revealed.
NCRPO Chief Guillermo Eleazar inspects the illegal drugs confiscated during the raid.
Implementing the surprise inspections will help prevent the youth from getting mixed up with illegal drugs, Eleazar said, emphasizing that prevention is important. He also clarified that these random inspections will be done by the teachers and/or school officials, and not the police.

"I just want to clarify that even when I was still the district director of QCPD (Quezon City Police District), I have suggested that already to the district supervisors of DepEd in Quezon City but the idea is for them to inspect, not the police," Eleazar explained.

"So naisip ko na mas maganda siguro na the teachers have surprise inspection of the bags and lockers," he added.

Although many individuals, including parents, welcomed this proposal, there were many others who opposed and said that this inspection policy might allow Oplan Tokhang to victimize students. Even  Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones was against this idea, because according to her, "this violates the students' right to privacy".
What's in your bag?
And so despite its good intentions, and its objective of protecting the youth from illegal drugs, this proposal never saw the light of day. At least, not yet.

If DepEd and CHED will reconsider this suggestion and come up with a protocol for the inspections, then maybe we can actually nip the drug problem in the bud. We can keep kids away from these drugs, seek help for those who are already involved, and track down the source of these illegal substances.

"If we can inspect belongings at malls, why not in schools?" Eleazar reiterated.
The man has a point.

14 replies:

Megan Kerry said...

It's really sad that drugs have taken over a lot of youth. I think its a good idea to have surprise inspections. The school is a place of learning and it is a public place. There is a time for privacy and a time for responsibility.

Sania Ahmed said...

Great post...

HeidiDee said...

Wow so sad that such young kids have gotten involved with drugs!

huda said...

Eye opening post, and I agree with the surprise inspections.

Janice Sison said...

This should have been done long time ago. Why the Education authorities wait for worst incidents before act?

Maureen Domingo said...

It's a great suggestion from General Guillermo Eleazar! Thank you for this.

Lydia Smith said...

Its really sadden to watch but I think we still need strong laws to curb this.

Lyosha Varezhkina said...

very good and important post. Drugs are scary I don't see why people keep on taking them. I do hope it will improve and people will turn to healthy life.

Melanie Frost said...

I am so terrified of my kid growing up and getting into drugs. They have come a long way since I was a kid. I don't think I would be opposed to random bag searches honestly.

brit said...

It's such a scary thought to think about! Surprise inspections are a great idea.

Alexandra COok said...

This is a very iportant post especially for our youth. We should be aware of everything around us. Let us practice this and must be implemented to all schools whether private or goverment.

Clare Minall said...

Such a great act that can save a lot of students. This should be sone a long time ago and it can be one of the solutions in one of the problems facing the community right now.

Kathleen Cregg said...

There are too many drugs out there and sad that the youth has such an easy access to it! Someone needs to police it!

aisasami said...

A celebrity here in Japan got in trouble with drugs over the past few weeks. It a bad crime here in a ense that they took away merch with his voice or name on it. He was Olaf in the Japanese version of Frozen, so Disney had pull Frozen things off the racks and they might have to redub Olaf.