Security check at OHS

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Security check at OHS

A note to let students know about the K-9 search protocol.

A note to let students know about the K-9 search protocol.

Logan McGaheran

A note to let students know about the K-9 search protocol.

Logan McGaheran

Logan McGaheran

A note to let students know about the K-9 search protocol.

Logan McGaheran, Writer

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On Monday, Dec. 3, the OHS administrative staff and local K-9 units conducted a search of the school. K-9 units are dogs that have been trained to search for illegal or harmful substances, such as drugs and alcohol. The staff is taking steps to enforce their anti-illegal substance policy for the safety of students by having K-9 searches. These searches can happen at random times and included a search of different classrooms in various areas of the school, looking for any illegal or harmful substances.

When planning and performing a K-9 search, the staff keeps many things in mind to ensure everything runs smoothly. Principal Mr. Kory Kath said, “We reach out to area K-9 units, then make sure that we have the availability of the dogs and then we randomly select classrooms as well as areas within the building, so that we’re hitting all areas throughout the school year.” When there is a search, the K-9 unit will enter the room and sniff it out. If they get a “hit,” or they find something suspicious, they will search students’ belongings. Mr. Kath said, “What people probably notice is that we do not do people searches. So in other words, even though the dogs are trained to search people, we do not do that. We only search belongings.” Since students are now able to bring backpacks to class, these searches are more crucial to the safety of students and the school.

We’d love to do two or three a year, and a lot of it comes down to the availability of the canine units and whether or not they’re able to be able to come in.”

— Principal Kory Kath

K-9 searches are very accurate and can make searching a large group of people easy, but OHS is only able to do a limited number of searches. Mr. Kath said, “We’d love to do two or three a year, and a lot of it comes down to the availability of the canine units and whether or not they’re able to be able to come in.” Because of the limited amount of K-9 searches OHS can do, the staff is able to check backpacks and lockers if a student is believed to have illegal substances, as well as other precautions in order to prevent illegal substances from entering the school and being on school grounds.

I think that it’s showing that they’re taking the initiative and they’re going through with the anti-illegal substances policy to keep the school a safe environment.”

— Grace Wolfe

The K-9 searches are expected to make the OHS a safer place, which is something students agree with. Senior Emma Burns said, “I think that it’s going to help a lot, but also warn kids with the possibility of being searched.” The students also think that the searches prove that the safety of the students matter. Junior Grace Wolfe said, “I think that it’s showing that they’re taking the initiative and they’re going through with the anti-illegal substances policy to keep the school a safe environment.”

In light of the K-9 searches, it should be known that the safety of students is the main priority. Mr. Kath said, “It’s my hope that it sends a message to students that we care about these issues and that we want this to be a safe environment where no illegal drugs or illegal substances are coming within our building, and that we’re going to take measures to make sure that that isn’t happening and that if it is happening that we’re going to catch it.” If students have any concerns about the school’s safety and security, they can reach out to the school’s administrative staff.