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Days after knife was found on campus, EBR schools announce plan for 'routine' K-9 searches

2 months 1 week 20 hours ago Monday, March 20 2023 Mar 20, 2023 March 20, 2023 4:20 PM March 20, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Parents are confused and concerned after receiving a voicemail Monday morning about possible random searches being conducted on students at Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet school after a student reportedly brought a knife to campus last week. 

Officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System said a student brought a knife to FLAIM Thursday. No one was injured, and the weapon was reportedly confiscated by the school's security and Drug Task Force. FLAIM's faculty called the families of the students in the class where the incident occurred, but officials did not go into detail as to what the incident was. 

Parents reportedly received a voicemail Sunday afternoon notifying them that students not just at FLAIM but in the entire district may be subject to random searches, and that K9 units would be present on campus.

Officials said this would be in an effort to "reduce the imposition of students and staff by having a single officer and K-9 on site without the need for any 'lockdown' or great law enforcement presence causing interruptions." However, officials did not specify whether this proposition was related to the incident on FLAIM on Thursday. 

WBRZ did not see an increased law enforcement presence on FLAIM's campus Monday morning. 

The school system released the following statement Monday afternoon.

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.

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