Stoughton High administration and the Stoughton Police Department led a standard canine drug sweep of the school Thursday morning, which turned out to be a “roaring success,” principal Matt Colantonio said.
For 45 minutes, students and staff were in lockdown as Brian Holmes of the Stoughton Police Department led 20 dogs from multiple K9 units from other jurisdictions around SHS.
Colantonio said that two students were found to be in possession of drugs and one student was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia.
There are about 1,180 students at SHS.
“The hope is you find nothing,” Colantonio said, “[That’s the] best case scenario.” But, he said “you have to know what you’re dealing with.”
He said that the lockdown was able to reinforce the message that “drugs are not allowed” in school, yet at the same time, his administration does not have to deal with a drug “epidemic.”
“It’s a win-win,” Colantonio said.
While organized by SHS administration and the Stoughton Police, plans of the drug sweep were not announced to the student body. Executive Officer Robert Devine of the SPD said the search “went off without a hitch.”
Colantonio said the dogs found five or six hits when searching the parking lot and lockers. A hit only means the dog picked up a scent and does not necessarily indicate drugs were found.
This is something a lot of schools do, Colantonio said. He emphasized that no dogs went near a student or went into any classroom where there was a student presence.
Colantonio could not disclose any potential disciplinary action for the three students found to be in possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia.
As point of comparison, a similar search was conducted at Middleboro High School in late April and 11 students were found to be in possession of drugs or alcohol and three were found to be in possession of knives, according to the Brockton Enterprise.