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D230 Officials Look to Bring Friendlier Drug-Sniffing Pooch to Area Schools

A fresh face could be roaming the halls next year of high schools in Palos Hills, Tinley Park and Orland Park.

Officials are hoping their new K9 selection will be friendlier than German Shepherds and Rotweilers, while also sniffing out drugs, gun powder and alcohol in local schools.

Consolidated High School 230 board members are looking to bring a golden retriever named Goldie to their three area campuses—Sandburg in Orland Park, Andrew in Tinley Park and Stagg in Palos Hills, according to TribLocal. 

The suggestion comes from the Houston, Texas, company, InterQuest Detection Canines, the story said.

Triblocal reports:

The dog is docile and we like the fact that this isn’t a growling dog,” Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Kim Dryier said. “This isn’t a scare tactic. It’s just another way to keep things out of our schools that do not belong.”

Some drugs—like heroin—have proved a recent problem in D230 schools, officials have said. Following a wave overdose cases in January, district administrators sent a letter to parents asking for their help and awareness. Robo calls also were made with principals reading the message.

“It’s very important for parents, community members and kids to know that the point is not to get someone in trouble, but to get them help and support,” Debbie Boniface, principal at Carl Sandburg High School, said at the time. “This is about making healthy and appropriate choices, and whatever we can do to ensure that is important.”

Interquest has a Chicago-area office and the company's trainer has worked schools as close as Lincoln-Way, the story said.

Goldie could be roaming the halls next August if the program is approved by the board. 

"With this program, the students in the building actually form a relationship with the dog,” Olsen told Triblocal. “They know the dog. They know the dog’s name. It’s non-threatening and you don’t have to go to a soft lockdown and have German Sheperds or Rottweilers barking in the hallways.”

Looking for more D230 news?

D230's 2011 Relay for Life Team Commended for Raising More Than $400K

School Officials and Police Warn of Rise In Local Teen Heroin Use

Boys Basketball: Adekoya Sets Rebound Record as Andrew Takes Down Sandburg

Talk About Heroin Now, Avoid an Epidemic Later

Rise in Teen Heroin Use Leads D230 Administrators to Appeal to Parents

Opinion 1 February 20, 2012 at 03:48 PM
As a parent of a 230 former student and also a current student - anything that can be done to eliminate drugs in any school is needed - we cannot turn our heads to the ever growning issue of drugs however the administration needs to understand that they are not the police - they are to be continued mentors - some of the administration and deans seem to think they are above the law and try to take issues into their own hands. Now, this is what I am told - obviously, I am not in the school each day - however when I am at the school to volunteer for certain events, the deans treat parents with no respect.
Bob February 21, 2012 at 03:05 PM
No way a police action involving trained security dogs should be performed by the district when the students are in the building unless, of course, there's a seious and immediate threat to the students and staff's safety. If it is necessary for the dogs to check for drug or gunpowder in lockers, that should be done AFTER school. I now Stagg has a FULL TIME gang/drug officer on campus. We pay him about $80K per year to be there for none months. It would be interesting to see how many "busts" have been made due to his "investigations". If the district can't even solve the "smoking in the washroom" problems, how can we trust them to deal with far more difficult drug, gang and violence issues?
Kathie February 29, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I am a parent of two graduated students and one present student in d230. I don't have a problem with any type of searches for drugs on school grounds at anytime. As long as innocent students are safe from the dogs, use whatever breed it takes. REALITY: drugs are an evil that are killing our young people! Prescription drugs, heroine, crack, meth- the list is long... Kids don't just come up to us and say, "Hey I have a drug problem." or "Mom, I'm thinking about trying heroine." Sometimes we/they don't get a second chance. There are good kids who try or take drugs. They are impulsive, have a weak moment to peer pressure, or don't talk to somene who can put things back into perspective after a bad week. As shocking/humiliating as it might be for a student with an addiction to be taken out of school by police officers, hopefully the day they are found out is the day their life is spared. Face it, kids who have a drug problem don't ask for help. They often live a private hell and feel hopeless. We (parents, staff and law enforcement) need to reach out and seek them out by whatever means deemed necessary. I saw a few posters around school on help for suicide. Isn't this really what a drug addiction is? A suicide- an quick escape from life? Sometimes it is permanent. Our young adults have experienced way too many lost classmates or siblings of classmates over their short lives. We need to help our children! So go ahead, let the dogs out!
Kathie February 29, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I know I have said this before, but there is help outside school. The ORLAND TOWNSHIP offers counseling for children, teens, parents and friends. They have well-educated and trained professionals who are just waiting to support and get individuals and families back on their feet. You get the same professionalism as if you walk into a private practice. All information is kept confidential. REACH OUT and help your children; help yourselves. I do not have the number, but you can probably find it on-line or through 411. (btw, I am not an employee or spouse of an employee of O.T.~ we have so many great resources in the area that are not facilitated!)
Jane Marie April 30, 2012 at 02:23 PM
In my day we gave our pot and bowls to the teachers and then got them back after the dogs and the fuzz where gone. Whatever happened to that?

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