State troopers with drug-sniffing dogs searched lockers and other areas of on Thursday in what school officials called a "pre-emptive sweep" for illegal substances.
Nothing illegal was found in the search, which the school district said was "part of improved surveillance and enforcement by school administration and local police."
The school district did not name the participating police agency in a press release issued on Thursday afternoon, but Port Chester police said they learned it was state police units from Troop K after receiving several calls from parents. The parents told police they'd received calls and texts from their children while the school was in lockdown. The school is just over the village line and falls under the jurisdiction of the Rye Brook Police Department, but Rye Brook police were not involved.
It's not clear if a specific incident triggered the sweep, although the rumors abound among students and parents. Calls to Port Chester High School Principal Mitchell Combs were referred to the district office on Thursday.
“Our goal is to discourage inappropriate and illegal behavior as well as to prevent bad decision-making,” Combs said in a press release. “If that means students who commit illegal acts that endanger our student body end up facing serious consequences, then so be it.”
One student said she was in the high school auditorium during a free period with other students when a teacher came in and told them to report to the computer lab.
She waited with about 20 other students in the lab for one school period until teachers announced the lock-down was over and they could return to their normal class schedules. A teacher turned the lights off, and the students were told to sit on the ground underneath a table during the duration of the lock-down.
Other students were kept in their classrooms during the drug sweep.
School officials said the sweep is part of ongoing efforts to enforce a zero-tolerance environment. They cited several recent education efforts, anti-drug literature and school assemblies as other components of their anti-drug campaign.
Students who are caught with drugs face disciplinary action, while students who possess drugs with the "intent to sell" face expulsion.
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