Armed Police Storm South Carolina School in Drug Raid

Press Release November 6, 2003
Media Contact

Tony Newman at (510) 812-3126

On Thursday, November 6, armed police stormed into Stratford High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina, ordering children to the floor at gunpoint to search for drugs. Students who did not do as they were told were handcuffed. This violent raid on innocent children has prompted groups against the war on drugs to call for an end to scare tactics that violate the civil rights of America’s young people.

“It sounds like the police and the principal forgot what country they’re living in,” said Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Since when do we send armed police officers into schools to terrorize schoolchildren? If there had been a sniper or a hostage situation in the school one might understand, but it’s hard to see any reason for the use of such police-state tactics.”

The Alliance called for the resignation of whoever was responsible for this “gross violation of civil rights,” said Nadelmann, whether it was the high school principal or the police chief.

“Sending armed troops into schools creates far more danger than any potential threat of drug use,” Nadelmann continued. “The local police and this principal seem to have lost all sense of proportionality. They should resign immediately and be diverted into a refresher course on the Bill of Rights. If ever we needed evidence that the war on drugs has gone too far, this is it.”

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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