Wednesday, November 26, 2014
   
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Search for drugs by dog at school discussed

Dist. 20 looks at other handbook changes.

A deterrent to bringing drugs to school could bring about a change in the student handbooks.

Because possession is against school policy and the law, administrators want a drug dog to sniff lockers for drug odors.

District 20 school board members learned of the proposal at their meeting Monday where they also learned of proposals dealing with fights and dating violence.

Junior high principal Ryan Groene and high school principal Randy Evans said they want to employ a drug dog and handler at least twice during the upcoming year.

“We’re not targeting certain kids but want kids to be aware that this is not the place to bring drugs,” Groene said.

On Tuesday, superintendent Mike Teahon said officials want to continue to provide a safe environment for students.

Evans said he understands that the dog sniffs lockers but can tell if certain drugs have been stored there even if they aren’t present during a search.

Because lockers are school property, Evans said they could be searched if positive identification is made.

Evans said students would be told on the first day of school that a drug dog would search for drugs each semester.

When board member Amber Burge asked if bringing in a drug dog could be turned into a learning opportunity for students, both principals said it could.

Because students are told of many rules and regulations the first day of school, Evans said maybe they could visit more about the issue in smaller groups.

“But we’d like to present it first on the first day of school so they have the heads up,” he said.

Burge said a policy dealing with drug dogs and the consequences of positive identification need to be spelled out.

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