Sonora High School students will get their first exposure to drug and firearms sniffing dogs Tuesday morning.
The trained K-9 detection dogs will be shown to students during a morning assembly on campus. School administrators say the dogs are more for a deterrent than for actually apprehending students who might bring in illegal drugs or firearms to class.
The schoolâ€™s site counsel –made-up of parents and students — does an annual need assessment, and one area pin-pointed was the need to limit the availability of drugs on campus.
Sonora High School Assistant Principal Chase Anderson said one of the ways the counsel came up with is to contract with a company that provides K-9 detection dogs. K-9 detection was tried at Sonora High for a year about nine years ago and now members of the site counsel want to bring it back.
“The objective is to primarily act as a deterrent,” Anderson said. “ItÂ´s not that the school is trying desperately to catch every kid they can. What they want to do is deter kids from even thinking about bringing controlled substances, gun power, guns and alcohol on campus.”
He says itÂ´s not because there has been a serious problem on the Sonora High campus, but itÂ´s a way to help make the campus “better than it already is.”
He said itÂ´s true, parents on campus had heard from students there is a presence of controlled substances. This is not a unique problem with Sonora High, but common to one degree or another, to high schools in the Mother Lode and throughout the state, Anderson said.
The dogs and their handler will come to the Sonora High campus and the alternative campus at the “Dome” unannounced and at random 20 times during the year – 10 at Sonora High and 10 at Casina High, Anderson explained.