Drug sniffing dogs from the Great Bend Police Department and Barton County Sheriff’s Office made two positive “hits” on possible narcotics during a surprise, random search at Great Bend High School Thursday morning, Unified School District Superintendent Tom Vernon said.
“They brought the dogs into the high school and searched some rooms,” Vernon said. About one third of the rooms at GBHS were visited starting at about 8:45 a.m.
When the officers arrived at a classroom door, the students exited into the hallway. The dogs searched the students’ belongings and lockers, but were not allowed to search the students themselves.
“There was one hit on a bookbag in a room,” Vernon said. The dogs then combed the Panther Athletic Center where there was a second hit.
Officers and school officials know who the students are and “there will be some consequences,” the superintendent said. At the school level, the students face possible suspension and expulsion. “It depends on the circumstances.”
These are the same possible punishments students would receive had school officials found the drugs with the help of the dogs.
As for what might happen criminal charge wise, Vernon didn’t know.
After they were finished at the high school, the officers went to Great Bend Middle School. There was a hit on a locker, but they found nothing inside.
District officials had recently made arrangements with law enforcement to conduct the sweeps, but did not know the exact time or day they would arrive, said GBHS Principal Tim Friess. This marked the first search in what is to be an on-going effort. It has been two or three years since dogs have been used at the high school.
“We’re going to be doing this,” Vernon said. Since there are two drug dogs available, “there is no reason not to. The whole purpose is to keep drugs out of the school.”
“It is a deterrent,” Friess said.