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Waynesboro city school system: Misplaced priorities

After SchoolLast week, Waynesboro Public Schools had the Waynesboro Police Department on campus at Waynesboro High School for a sweep of the parking lot.

‘Twas a drug bust the school system was instigating.

“I think it just raises awareness that we don’t tolerate drug use on campus,” Waynesboro Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Cassell told News Virginian editor Brian Carlton.

“It’s holding people accountable.”

Here’s holding people accountable: according to police spokesperson Brian Edwards, K-9 units alerted on eight student vehicles, and after searches one of the eight was found to have drug paraphernalia inside.

There are a couple of good lessons there for the kids to take home with them. One, for government class, regarding how much we now tolerate living in a police state in the name of “holding people accountable.”

Two, for math class. One in eight isn’t what you’d call a good success rate for the K-9 units.

That’s 12.5 percent, for those keeping score at home.

OK, so here’s a number for you: more than 60 percent of the kids in our school system are on free or reduced lunch.

And here’s another: 5.4 percent. That’s how much, or how little, depending on your perspective, the school system annual budget has grown since the first year of the recession, in 2008.

City leaders have continually asked, forced, the school system to do more to educate our kids with their myriad disadvantages with less.

And the folks in the school system are choosing to put their efforts into obviously ineffectual drug busts.

Some people need to be held accountable, to be sure.

– Column by Chris Graham

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