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School system adds services of canines that can detect firearms, drugs

Warren County Schools has entered into an agreement with InterQuest Detection Canines Inc., to provide trained canines to conduct random, unannounced inspections at all campuses.

The canines are trained to detect the presence of firearms, illicit drugs, prescription pills, and alcohol.

Campus buildings, parking lots, and grounds will be randomly inspected for prohibited items and, if detected and found, the county will initiate the appropriate disciplinary action. The dogs are non-aggressive and they are trained to determine specific scents of contraband items.

“As our commitment to safety continues, I am happy to announce that we are adding another level of protection to our schools,” said Director of Schools Dr. Grant Swallows. “Our desire is for students to feel safe at school and be free of other distractions seen throughout our nation's public schools.”

Swallows stresses that state law TCA 49-6-3401(g) and local school policy (6.309) prohibit the possession of any weapon or any drug, including any controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, or legend drug on school grounds or at a school-sponsored event.

Committing any of these offenses shall result in a student being expelled from the regular school program for at least one (1) calendar year unless modified on a case-by-case basis.

“Other school districts have had success using this approach to providing a safer school atmosphere for students,” said Swallows. “With the recent publicity concerning the dramatic increase in teenage drug use and shootings, it is our duty to take every reasonable precaution to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for all of our students. Being proactive about student and school safety is a necessity.”

Swallows says he can be contacted for questions at any time.