District will allow drug dogs on campuses | TahoeDailyTribune.com

District will allow drug dogs on campuses

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Whittell High School upgrades and locker-sniffing canine cops were approved at a Douglas County School District Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday.

The board adopted a new policy pertaining to safe and drug-free environments at district schools. The policy comes after a year of discussions for drug-sniffing dogs to come unannounced on school campuses.

“The school district may conduct canine sniffs of school hallways, lockers, classrooms, buildings, parking lots and other school property through the use of a canine unit and also conduct canine sniffs of the personal property of students,” the policy read. “Sniffs through canine units will occur at random, at the discretion of the school district and at the availability of a canine unit.”

Law enforcement will ask students for their permission to search personal property, such as backpacks, if a canine unit detects something unusual. If a student refuses to give permission, an immediate search could occur if circumstances allow or officers could get a search warrant.

A five-year capital project plan has Whittell listed as receiving physical education and athletic field improvements and replacing its metal roof. The Whittell upgrades are planned to start 2003 to 2004 with the roof replacement.

The $500,000 proposed improvements to the athletic fields and bus building would begin in 2004.

In addition, Frehner Construction was awarded the contract to reconstruct Whittell’s parking lot with a bid of $468,624. Funding for the parking project will come from the capital project fund.

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