Santa Barbara- Drug-detecting dogs will be visiting Santa Barbara Unified School District’s four high schools on a regular basis starting next year. The goal is to deter students from bringing drugs and illegal substances to campus. A public demonstration was held Thursday night at San Marcos High. Share your comments about this story with us on the KEY News Facebook page.The school board recently approved the contract, to have these canines come on campuses to inspect. There will be roughly 30-35 visits annually to Santa Barbara, San Marcos, Dos Pueblos and La Cuesta continuation high schools. The dogs are not only looking for drugs including marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin, but alcohol, prescription medications, and gunpowder substances. During the random searches, students are temporarily excused from the classroom raising concerns that the dogs could be a distraction. Nevertheless, school officials say, the number one goal — is campus safety. The detection dogs will cost the school district roughly 12,000 dollars annually. If a student is caught with an illegal substance, their parents or guardian, are notified, along with law enforcement. School officials say these searches may spread down to the junior high level as well, but that’s yet to be determined. The next public demonstrations: 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 21 at Santa Barbara High School’s theater; and 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24 at Dos Pueblos High School’s cafeteria.KEY News Reporter Shirin Rajaee reports.
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