Parkway School District to have drug-sniffing dogs at schools next year

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by Lindsay Bramson / News 4 and KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 14 at 6:41 PM

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV) – Drug-sniffing dogs will soon be roaming the halls of schools in the Parkway School District, one of the only districts in the county that has not done it yet.

School officials have been talking about enacting a drug dog policy since 2011.

Now, St. Louis County police officers and drug-sniffing dogs will visit the district’s five high schools looking for illegal drugs.

“I think it’ll make a difference in the sense of what students in the community see.  That we’re serious about keeping school safe and drug free,”said Michael Barolak, coordinator of student discipline in the Parkway School District.

Twice a semester, officers will conduct a search for about 40 minutes looking for drugs like marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine.

There will be two different kinds of searches.

“So the first one will be while students are in class so they’ll be a period of time where there will be no hall passes issued and we just won’t have kids in hallway.” said Parkway School District Deputy Superintendent Desi Kirchhofer.

And police officers will have access to student’s lockers.

The second type of search will happen in student parking lots to see if drugs are in any of the cars.

“Our suspension rates over the last decade have dropped significantly. Drug and alcohol offenses have not dropped at that same rate," said Barolak.

So obviously drugs are still an issue of concern for school officials. Searches can be before, after, even during school and are expected to start in January.

 

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