Drug dogs found no problems in a search of nearly a thousand student lockers at Fairmont High School in early October. But one good result doesn’t mean the administration is ready to abandon future searches.
On Oct. 2 from approximately 10:01 to 10:30 a.m., the Kettering Police Department conducted the drug search. “We searched West Unit and many lockers in Central,” said Principal Dan Von Handorf.
On the morning of the drug search, an email was sent to all Fairmont staff members informing them of the search and instructing them to keep students in class during the search. It encouraged teachers to discuss the drug search with students and answer any questions after 10:30 a.m., when the event was over. “Students need to know this is a safe place and Fairmont is drug, alcohol and violence free,” said Von Handorf.
The Kettering Police Department used dogs to search about 900 Fairmont lockers. In the end, the drug dogs had one hit: a locker containing a cotton ball smelling like marijuana that was planted by the police to test the dogs. “It is great to see our kids doing the right thing,” Von Handorf said in an email sent out to teachers after the search.
In the past years, drug searches have been conducted at Fairmont, and Von Handorf plans to continue having them. “Doing drug searches raises students’ level of awareness,” he said. “It lets students know we want a businesslike atmosphere where they can learn.”
Like Von Handorf, some students believe drug searches can be helpful, but not in all aspects. “Searches have a chance of reducing drug use, but they only limit what students bring to school,” said sophomore Drew Proud. “It’s not going to stop students from using drugs.”
Senior Ryan Crouch had a similar view. “Drug searches might prevent drug use, possession and sales at school to an extent, but not totally,” said Crouch. “There will always be kids who will bring drugs to school and take the chance of getting caught.”
Although drugs were not found at Fairmont on the day of the search, it doesn’t necessarily mean students aren’t using them. “Drugs are a problem at Fairmont,” said Crouch. “A lot of people use drugs illegally.”
But others don’t see drugs as being a problem at Fairmont, at least not yet. “I don’t think drug usage is that bad,” said Proud. “But over time, I think it could become more of a problem.”
Von Handorf’s hope is to continue getting clean results like Fairmont did on Oct. 2. “Teenage drug use is a problem throughout Dayton and the nation,” he said, “so it’s a success if we don’t find drugs here at Fairmont.”