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Administrators, students should be commended

McDuffie County Superintendent of Schools Mark Petersen and Thomson High School Principal Rudy Falana should be commended for taking a hard stand against drugs in our schools.

The two men asked that Thomson Police Sgt. Jared Land and his drug-sniffing partner Doerak turn Thomson High upside down in an effort to weed out contraband in the school.

At the end of the search -- which lasted several hours and covered classrooms, lockers and parking lots -- one student was under arrest after a couple of half-smoked, pot-filled cigars were discovered in his car and a small bag of marijuana had been found in a classroom.

Much ado has been made of the drug sweep, but we'd like to add something that's lacking in some circles: perspective.

Sure, the fact that drugs -- any amount of any type of illegal drugs -- were found inside the walls and in the parking lot of our high school is troubling.

But let's look at the numbers. There are 1,165 students and 118 faculty and staff at Thomson High School. During the unannounced sweep, one of those students was arrested.


Now, we understand that there is certainly more than one student at the school who is familiar with illegal substances. But please do not let this sweep become an indictment against all our high school students.

All too often, the few bad students can sour an entire school, especially if the rumor mill is allowed to churn ad nauseum. It's up to us to remember that there's more good than bad in our high school -- and our high school students.

Web posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005


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