BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — East Baton Rouge Parish Schools is coming up with a new plan to make classrooms safe following recent violence and arrests. After an incident with EBRPSS security teams finding drugs on school grounds, they will now boost up security with trained K-9s
The plan involves searching for weapons and drugs with the help of police and K-9 units. In a statement, a spokesperson said campuses will first be put on lockdown and students will then be asked to remove their shoes, empty their pockets, and put their belongings in the hallway.
The searches will happen at middle and high school campuses.
Ben Lemoine, Director of Communications & Public Relations, for EBRPSS said, “This has been used by law enforcement forever. The use of dogs to search for drugs. And in this case, we’re talking about canine dogs that are specifically trained to discover, to sniff out these drugs. So it’s also an effort for us to not be so invasive on the students.”
EBRPSS says their goal to provide a safe and secure learning environments for our students and staff.
One teacher, Crystal Williams Gordon, alluded to how she believes the searches will impact a feeling of security on campus. Gordon said, “I think any students or faculty members that feel unsafe, with this added measure will feel safer and therefore be more productive.”
The search will only happen after investigations say they are needed — this is not an schedule event. It will only happen as needed. The dogs will not come in contact with students.
Read EBR Schools’ statement below:
In an effort to fortify our prioritized commitment to providing safe and secure learning environments for our students and staff, EBRPSS security leaders will conduct random searches for weapons and drugs with the assistance of law enforcement and K-9 units.
These endeavors will occur at high school and middle school campuses based on security information gathered and any incidents causing security concerns. Law enforcement officers and school staff will announce that the school is on lockdown and will attempt to minimize any disruptions to our students or learning. In order to be sensitive to any natural fear of dogs, the K-9 officers will not physically engage students up close, and no staff or officers will physically touch students during this process.
There will be no publicly published schedule or timeline for these routine searches, and the timeline/location may be adjusted according to security intelligence gathered by our security teams and prioritized as such. While the K-9 officers are not trained to recognize the presence of weapons, such searches may also be conducted by school staff and security personnel at any time.
Please know that these endeavors have been commonplace for several decades in ours and many school districts nationwide to ensure the safety of everyone on campus. We are happy to provide any clarity or answer questions you may have regarding these proactive measures.EBR Schools