By: Sofi Shlepakov
On Tuesday, June 12, 2018, Sharon High School brought a team of specialized K-9 dogs in order to do a drug and weapon sweep at the school.
This is done over high schools all over the country but has just recently started at Sharon High School after getting permission from superintendent, Dr. Greer.
Principal Dr. Libano says that this concept is not new and has actually been talked over for a couple of years now. “It’s not a new concept, it’s something we have talked about for a couple of years. It’s just never been implemented.
“ Earlier this year, I sought the okay from Dr. Greer so Officer Hocking and I worked with the team of K-9 officers that do this on a regular basis with high schools everywhere, and we coordinated a date,” added Libano.
Each town has one or two dogs and then nearby K-9 dogs train together.
Libano says that on those days the dogs come to the schools. “Usually towns have one or two K-9 officers and for a high school of this size we need lots of dogs. The K-9 units from multiple towns, their handlers and the dogs usually train together on almost a weekly basis. So when the schools ask for a search it’s usually done on one of the days that the dogs are training so that they’re all together already,” said Libano.
Libano says that other high schools have already started doing this and that “we are behind the times.”
School resource officer, Officer Hocking says that this is a problem all over the country. “It’s not different than any other school. It’s no less or no more than any other school. Talking to the kids it was all positive feedback that we got and hopefully it makes kids make better decisions, ” said Hocking.
Hocking says that they not only brought drug dogs but also weapon dogs. “So the overall theme from my end and administrations end was a complete sweep. What we want going forward is for kids to have it in the back of their mind — so it’s basically a deterrent,” said Hocking.
Libano says that these dogs also work at prisons, meaning they are specially trained to sniff different contraband out. “In addition to doing sweeps at hundreds of high schools, they also work in prisons. Contraband in prisons – the prisoners aren’t supposed to have certain things – drugs, weapons, and in certain cases cell phones. So the dogs are trained to sniff out different things,” Libano.
Hocking says that he thinks the dogs made the statement that school is not a place for drugs.
“You shouldn’t bring drugs to school — you shouldn’t be doing drugs in the first place. But if you’re making those poor decisions and you decide to bring it into school, you risk potentially being found with it and that results in serious consequences,” said Libano.
He adds that if students are found breaking rules on contraband that the school has a program that student would have to go through.
“When I see administrators from other towns it’s the whole vaping issue, that’s the biggest issue. What kids are doing now, they’re using the THC oil and things like that. That’s why we asked the dogs to come,” said Hocking.
“I want students to know that any kinds of illicit drugs should not be brought into Sharon High School,” said Dr. Libano.