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Sniffer dog protests

AUSTRALIA: The use of police sniffer dogs to detect drugs in at least six big secondary schools has been condemned by teachers, parents and civil liberty organisations, writes Geoff Maslen.

Police said the searches were conducted by the dog squad and were carried out at the request of principals and local police out of school hours.

Teachers, parents and civil liberty campaigners said the practice breached students' rights.

"I think it is fairly invasive," said Beth Sheffield, president of the Victorian Federation of State School Parents' Clubs. "If they were adult institutions, would it be deemed appropriate for sniffer dogs to perhaps go through a department?" She said it could glamorise drug-taking among the students most at risk.

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