A policy that would allow police K-9 teams to search and seize contraband found in Montville High School, and in particular student lockers, is being discussed and will likely pass muster in early 2013, it was announced at the Nov. 20 Board of Education meeting.
A program demonstration is slated for January.
According to School Superintendent Pamela Aubin, the procedure for the sweeps would be “very clear; (dogs) will not sniff students.
Instead, students would stay in classrooms while the police and dogs searched the hallways and parking lot.
“We’re well within the law, within statutory guidelines,” Aubin said.
The searches would be conducted with no warning.
“They would be unannounced,” she said. That’s the point. “This program is (designed) to be more of a deterrent.”
Montville schools already have a search and seizure policy but it does not make reference to the use of police K-9 units or drug detection dogs.
East Lyme, Ledyard, Waterford and many other area schools have specific dogs search policies.
This is the state law that allows for these types of searches.
Sec. 54-33n. Search of school lockers and property. All local and regional boards of education and all private elementary and secondary schools may authorize the search by school or law enforcement officials of lockers and other school property available for use by students for the presence of weapons, contraband or the fruits of a crime if (1) the search is justified at its inception and (2) the search as actually conducted is reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in the first place. A search is justified at its inception when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school. A search is reasonably related in scope when the measures adopted are reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction.