Required safety drill at Grant and Harding included police sweep, no drugs found

Grant Middle School and Harding High School conducted lockdown safety drills this morning, complying with state requirements.

The district also invited local law enforcement to sweep the school with canine units in a search for drugs and contraband while on lockdown. No drugs were found in either school during the searches.

State law requires schools to conduct three school safety drills, including one drill in which students are secured in the school building, each school year. Harding and Grant completed their drills at 9 a.m., requiring students and staff to remain in their classrooms during the drills.

Canine units from the Marion Police Department swept the school buildings for drugs and contraband while buildings were on lockdown. The district takes this step to comply with our vision of establishing a safe, caring and respectful environment that promotes student learning.

“We want to be proactive when it comes to serving our students, and partnering with the police department to conduct this sweep is one way we are being proactive to keep students safe,” Marion City Schools Superintendent Stephen Fujii said. “It goes hand-in-hand with our programs dedicated to educating students about the dangers of drugs.”

These programs include teaching the research-proven Too Good for Drugs curriculum meant to help students develop strong peer-pressure refusal strategies and understand the negative effects of drug use.

Grant and Harding students are also encouraged to volunteer for random drug testing through the Prexie Prevention Program, in which only participants’ parents or guardians receive test results. Students who sign up through school resource officers are entered into a drawing for a chance to win a free iPad.

“We are aware of both the dangers of drug abuse and how important being drug free is to success after students graduate high school,” Fujii said. “We want to keep students safe and to prepare them for the future.”

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