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Op-ed: NIACC needs a drug dog (by Peter Children)

I admit I am no longer privy to current recruiting practices at NIACC; however I once was, and I stand by every word I wrote.


I plant a garden, and I have found that if you pay attention to the weeds at the beginning they are much easier to control than if you let them run wild and try to eradicate them later. This is exactly what NIACC did in the beginning of their sports program. And lets be clear here, I am talking about Football and Basketball as the main draw. I am not necessarily talking about when the school first opened it’s doors but not that long ago there were contingents from the athletic department that traveled to the cities I mentioned to enlist players to come here to play ball. That is very easy to prove.

Now the damage has been done; it’s not about color it’s about drugs. Do any of you really think that the drugs that flowed through that school were going to be restricted to their property line? Do you think drugs are restricted to certain economic levels or gender? It is well known that whites use more drugs than blacks, but more blacks go to jail for these offenses than do whites. That does not interest me, I am only interested in this community where I reside. I know how the drugs got here…not all of them but certainly a considerable amount.

This has been one of those “untouchable” subjects in this town for a long time, but now that one young man has been murdered and gun shots are a common occurrence on the North End, the time has come to get it out in the open. Bring it out into the light of day, I’m tired of this “privileged bullshit. If you went to NIACC and had wonderful experience, then that’s great…but I have some standing by that were upset that the administration did not do more to police the dorms. They say the hallways were frightening to walk through on occasion, that you could buy any drug you wanted, and some drugs were offered free just to get you hooked…then it would turn ugly once you came looking and it was known you could not come with cash. One girl told me she had to “Service” all of the drug pushers friends or go without. “You gotta do what you gotta do,” she said. You want to think twice before you send your child into that swamp. For a collage there are more important things in life than bank balances. These young people moving in to the dorms from small towns surrounding Mason City are not without knowledge when it comes to drugs, but not the “in your face approach” that goes on in the hallways.

For too long the main focus of the school has been just to fill the desks and the dorms with little or no thought as to what took place after hours; this has to stop. There needs to be a serious plan with serious consequences set up at that school with the safety of the students as priority number one.

When NIACC instigated a drug plan, they ran it themselves. How nice. No football player got tested during season, no basketball player got tested during season….only off season, how nice. Why didn’t NIACC bring in an independent agency to implement the program? Because they probably wouldn’t have been able to field a team. It was all a God damn joke. If push comes to shove, most of these guys were offered “deferred” grading until the season was over…that way they could stay eligible.

I propose a citizen’s committee with some clergy, the police maybe a couple of hot shot regents that know it all, but have never been in those dank confining rooms; they should spend a few nights in there. Then of course some faculty and a couple students. Let these people set standards that must be followed with the consequences being eviction.

Although this city itself does not have a canine dog (about $15,000), but they can bring in estimators to propose a $65,000.00 to move Eric’s desk, the college needs to invest in such an animal that will go through those hallways constantly. That should be the rigor for every school. At least it would be a start.

Peter Children

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