Crisis lock-in drill utilizes drug dogs

Extracurricular drug testing possibility for next year

Addie Lindenmeyer

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As part of one of the nine crisis drills required by the state of Kansas, Newton High School held a lock-in accompanied by the presence of drug dogs in the buildings and parking lot.

During the drill, canine units scoured the property, resulting in the arrest of one non-Newton High School student for possession of marijuana. Following the event, principal Lisa Moore said she was excited that no Newton High School students were arrested.

“I think we are sending a strong message that we are not going to tolerate drugs on campus or in the parking lot or wherever,” Moore said. “Hopefully our students are smart enough to know that if they are going to do illegal drugs, it is not going to happen at Newton High School. Our students deserve a safe environment for learning.”

Moore said that superintendent Dr. Deborah Hamm is adamant that the school work with the Newton Police Department (NPD) to bring drug dogs on campus regularly, although the dates of such occurrences will depend upon availability of canine units.

In addition to holding crisis drills, the school has united with STAND, a student club working with counselors to promote anti-drug practices. The school is also working closely with the Harvey County Drug Coalition in increasing the overall health of students by encouraging healthy eating, exercising and not using illegal substances.

“I think it is more important for us that the student is healthy,” Moore said. “They can learn better and they can be more successful.”

Furthermore, athletic director Brian Becker said that the school is looking into implementing a drug testing policy not only for athletes, but all extracurricular activities. These would include activities anywhere from basketball to debate.

“That’s [a drug testing policy] definitely one piece of a drug prevention program, but it’s something we’ve talked about maybe implementing if we have the ability to do it, for a couple of years,” Becker said. “So, we are going to kind of study it the rest of this year and come up with a proposal if we chose to move that direction.”