Drug-sniffing dog comes up empty at Hayden schools | SteamboatToday.com

Drug-sniffing dog comes up empty at Hayden schools

— A drug-sniffing dog with the Moffat County Sheriff's Office visited the Hayden Secondary Schools campus Thursday morning, but the dog's nose did not lead to the discovery of any illegal substances.

During a random drug search at the middle and high schools, the chocolate lab sniffed lockers and cars for drugs while students, who were not told about the search in advance, remained in classrooms during a lockdown drill.

Two Hayden police officers assisted during the sweep.

Although the dog reacted to a few cars and lockers at the campus, school staff members did not find any illegal substances, Hayden Interim Police Chief Gordon Booco said.

Principal Gina Zabel said the search will help prevent students from bringing drugs to campus.

"It was a random search to ensure we have a safe school," she said. "It is one of the most effective ways we can see whether we have any issues with drugs here in our building."

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Superintendent Mike Luppes added that the search was not a response to any specific incident or perceived problem with drugs on campus.

"Anything we can do to discourage our kids from using drugs, we are interested in doing," he said. "Today's activity was not to bust people. … It was to send a message we do not allow drugs on our campus."

He said that before the school day ended he was contacted by three parents who opposed the random drug search and were concerned about the privacy of their children.

Luppes said the searches do not breach the privacy of students and aim to enhance their safety at the school.

A drug dog last was used at the Secondary Schools campus in a similar sweep in 2007.

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