Drug Free Morgan

Written by Kevin Moran and Marcus McDermott|

Ace, the police dog
Ace, the police dog

On Tuesday, March 27th The Morgan School held a lockdown. The fire alarm was pulled, and the students were brought outside.  Eventually students were directed to the auditorium or the cafeteria. All students who were seen with a backpack were forced to turn their backpacks over to the police. At this point, many students realized that this was not a normal lockdown. After being in the auditorium for around forty five minutes, students were told that this was a safety drill for a lockdown situation. Students began posting pictures of the police dogs and many officers from other towns in the school parking lot. Many felt that the administration tricked the students into being searched, while many others believed it was completely justified. Students were not afraid to share their beliefs.

Senior Mark Zumpano felt that “the school has reasons for what they do. it shouldn’t be a problem beause if you bring drugs to school, you’re an idiot.” Mark wasn’t the only student who felt this way. Junior Kyle Schiess said “I don’t know who to side with. The whole lie was necessary; everybody would just take their drugs out of their bags and put it in their pocket if they were in their backpacks.” Not all students felt the same as Mark and Kyle on this situation. Many students had negative responses because they felt as if they were lied to in order for the search to occur. Junior Dwight Carmona said  “not only did they lie to us, but how does that make us look as a school? It makes us look like we have a drug problem, but nothing related to drugs has really happened.” Fellow Junior Maggie Gosselin had similar views on this situation. She stated, “It seems a lot like a dictatorship when people of higher power are herding us like sheep into rooms, while parents get a notice so they can say that technically the parents knew what was going on. I don’t like the morals of it.”

Students aren’t the only ones that had somethng to say. Several parents had comments about the security drill ‘and how it was executed by the administration. Freshman Kate Driscoll shared her mom’s thoughts about the search. “My mom thought that the search was very clever and that there’s nothing wrong with it because if kids want to bring that kind of stuff to school then they should be punished.” Freshman Jensen Garcia’s mother, Miss Westerman, had some comments about the search. Jensen explained “My mom said that it was a really clever idea, and that the person who came up with that definetly got a raise. She was more amazed than angry.” The reaction from the parents for the most part was a positive one.

We interviewed Student Resource Officer Officer O’brien.  When we asked Officer O’brien what he thought of the drug search, he stated: “It went well, everybody was in compliance with the rules not to have illegal substances on school grounds, and there was a great level of compliance from the students which the faculty and the police department greatly appreciated.” We also talked to Science Teacher Mrs. Whittel who said that “I believe that yesterday was to allow the drug dogs to search the school. I think it was very positive because they found no drugs.”

We attempted to talk to Principal Mrs. Hagness, but due to her busy schedule we were not able to conduct an interview. Whether students felt the drug search was positive or negative , no drugs were found. To learn more about the right to search students, read Kate L. Ehlenberger’s article The Right to Search Students