Anyone bringing illegal drugs, firearms, alcohol, or other contraband onto the campus at Clarksburg School will be taking a bigger risk of getting caught starting in the upcoming fall semester.
Members of the South Carroll Board of Education voted unanimously at their May 17 meeting to contract with Interquest Detection Canines to do random visits at least once a month during the 2018-19 school year.
Interquest representative Rocky Montgomery spoke to the board about the services his company provides.
As Montgomery detailed, an Interquest handler and specially trained dog will make unannounced visits to the school, during which the handler will take the dog through the campus and facility sniffing out cars, lockers, and backpacks for any contraband.
According to Montgomery, not even school administrators will be warned beforehand as to when the dog and handler will be showing up.
He also said that the visits are designed to be as quick and unobtrusive as possible, and a school-wide lockdown will not be necessary during the visits.
Montgomery assured the board that the dogs are trained to be friendly around children, and when they do sniff out something, they are trained to simply sit down as an indicator that drugs, alcohol, or firearms are present nearby.
If a student or even faculty or staff member is found to be in possession of something illegal, Montgomery said it would be up to school administrators to decide what action to take from that point on.
Later in the meeting, board member Philip Moore made the motion to hire Interquest.
Director of Schools Tony Tucker said that he intends to use both Interquest and surprise walk-though visits by K-9 officers with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department to stamp out any illegal substances or activity at the school.
“I don’t want anyone to have a clue when they might be coming,” said Tucker.
Board members also discussed the possibility of implementing random drug testing for athletes but decided to table the matter until the next board meeting.
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In other business, the board:
•Viewed a presentation by Coordinated School Health representative Jennifer Medford on the latest round of student health screenings and school programs and activities connected with the program. Medford informed the board that over 50 percent of Clarksburg students tested as being overweight or obese. Medford said CSH would be targeting South Carroll in 2018-19 to find ways to bring down the overweight/obesity rate.
•Decided to wait about discussing possibilities to make the school facility more secure until state assessors can come in, look at the school facility, and make recommendations.
•Acknowledged the resignation of middle school science teacher Cody Ezell.
•Acknowledged the re-employment of certified and non-certified staff.
•Agreed not use TNReady/EOC scores as part of students’ grades on report cards in the current school year.
•Approved several budget amendments as a matter of end-of-year bookkeeping.