Update: drug sweep

The high school was locked down for the search starting at around 9:10 a.m., said Superintendent Gena Keller. Around 9:45 a.m. the school system notified parents of the situation via voice message and email. The lockdown ended around 10 a.m., Keller said.

During that half-hour gap, some parents got word that their children were locked down in the high school but didn’t know why. The news spread via social media and word of mouth. Since a lockdown can indicate the presence of an intruder, some parents expressed concern for their children’s wellbeing.

“One thing I know we would do differently next time is we would disseminate the alert to our parents within a five to 10 minute time frame versus 30 minutes,” said Keller about the delay. “The reality is the world we live in is pretty scary. We waited in order not to compromise the search. However, we definitely realize that there’s a need to disseminate that information a bit more quickly.”

When asked what prompted the search, Keller said, “When we have reason to believe through information from our students or staff that there is a heightened concern of drug use, distribution, or possession, then we’re going to bring the K9 units in. We’re going to make sure we send a really clear message that our schools need to be drug-free.”

The juvenile was not arrested, said Lt. David Wells of the sheriff’s office. “In the juvenile system a first offender can do something called diversion. Whether this happens depends on factors such as whether the juvenile has a past history. Diversion includes programs, community service, things of that nature. It’s all specific to the case and juvenile,” said Wells.

“I’m sorry that we found any indication of drugs in our schools at all,” said Keller. “However, if it’s there then we have to take steps to make sure that the students in our community know that we’re not going to tolerate it.”

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