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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/6/09

Suffolk Cty., NY: High school children should not be used as drug informants

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Message Mary MacElveen
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High school students already face untenable situations such as growing up in such a complicated world and trying to learn the very basics in order to succeed in the future.  Peer pressure aside, they have numerous state tests and federal standards such as “No Child Left Behind” whose law states according to Newsday, “schools must boost test performance each year,”   All of this weighs heavily on their shoulders.

Our children will be forced out into the big-bad world soon enough and I have always been of the opinion, let kids be kids for as long as it takes.  We are forcing our children to grow up faster in this world; no matter which country a child grows up in, and it is up to we grown-ups to preserve their childhood.  Just look around at the numerous wars we have involved our societies in as well as the economic stresses: Can’t we at least give our children a few more years of childhood before they are exposed to the harsh realities of life itself?


These are the beliefs I have held dear for a long time since I am raising two teenage children.  As I read my morning, Newsday, on Tuesday, I nearly blew my stack when I read where our police department wishes to use our children as law enforcement personnel.


The article cited, "the Suffolk County Police Department is offering students cash rewards to turn in drug dealers, along with a new way to deliver those tips - anonymous text messages." To the Suffolk County Police Department: “You do the job and leave my children; our children out of the mix.  Their job in high school is to learn and not act as your law enforcement agents.”


According to Lt. Robert Donohue, he stated, "We know that these drugs are coming into the schools," and went onto say, "We want to know how. We want to know who's doing it, inside or outside of the schools." That is the job of a police officer and not my children; our children.  You have the training and experience where my children have none.  Send in a trained investigator and leave my children; our children to learn.


For the price of $500 dollars given to a high school child should a tip lead to an arrest, they are literally putting their lives in danger.  I send my children to a high school within Suffolk County, NY to be safe.  I do not want them derailing their learning experience with the enticement of any monetary reward to investigate those who may be selling and using drugs.  That is the job of law enforcement and not high school students.


One has to wonder if in these harsh economic times they are enticing our children and if parents are out of work, they may encourage their children to act as informants.  Just something to think about.


When, Superintendent Paul Casciano of the William Floyd district stated, "People are very reluctant to talk. Sometimes they need encouragement and money might be that incentive." What he is opining is playing with the lives of all of our children within Suffolk County by offering money which may endanger their lives.  Is a child's life worth $500 to you, Supt. Casciano?  What happens to the parents if our children are killed in the process?  Will you help with the costs of burying either of my children should that happen?


In reading that Newsday article, I have read the safeguards that they have planned, but it is not a failsafe operation which can lead to the death of any texting informant.  My son and my daughter mean the world to me and the Suffolk County Police Department cannot have them.  I would rather them text their friends and NOT you.


Being a mom whose son just performed in a play, I would rather that any future play he may wish to partake in be his focus.  I would rather he concentrate on his grades, his friends and not become a law enforcement agent long before his time.  You see, his plans are to enlist in the Marines after high school, and then go onto to become a police officer.  Let my child, our children be children and do not bribe them to become law enforcement agents.  I am his mother and you do not get the right to bribe him, and invade his life at this point.  While I realize he knows more than what he conveys to me in our talks as well as the talks I have with my daughter, their innocence must be preserved at this crucial point in their lives.


As a mom, I do not wish to get a phone call from anyone that either of my children have been taken from me long before their time.  That is my greatest fear for all of the children who attend any high school in Suffolk County, NY.


Author’s email is, xmjmac@optonline.net


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Mary MacElveen Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog http://www.mary-macelveen.blogspot.com I have been published by Buzzflash.com, TheLiberalPatriot.org and MikeHersh.com. I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)
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