BCSD K-9 Free Air Sniffs

To promote a safe, drug-free learning environment and to deter individuals from possessing or distributing contraband on school campuses, the BCSD Security and Emergency Management team will work with school administrators and law enforcement K-9 teams to conduct "free air sniffs" in school parking lots, common areas, and school classrooms. The K-9 teams will conduct "free air sniffs" of vehicles in parking lots, backpacks, and other property to include hallways, bathrooms, and lockers, etc. To ensure that areas where K-9 Teams will be present are clear of students, school administration will place the school on a modified lockdown to make certain that there is no interaction between K-9 teams and students.

Upon a K-9 alert to a vehicle, common area, locker, classroom, or backpack, an administrator will be notified and a search will be conducted by school administrative staff. If contraband (i.e., drugs, weapons, or alcohol) is located by the administrator, the administrator will work with law enforcement to complete the investigation following all district policy and procedures. All other contraband will be dealt with by school administration in accordance with district policy and procedures. 

Please note: There will be no interaction between K-9 teams and students at any time. 

Please also note: K-9 Teams will remain on a leash and under the K-9 handler's control at all times. 

Frequently Asked Questions: K-9 Free Air Sniffs

NOTE: These frequently asked questions will be regularly updated as new questions and topics are brought to our attention. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us: officeofcommunications@bcsdschools.net.  

Why are K-9 team free air sniffs conducted on school campuses?

K-9 team free air sniffs are conducted to promote a safe, drug-free learning environment and to deter individuals who may contemplate bringing contraband into school campuses and/or distributing contraband to others. 

Will all schools be subject to K-9 free air sniffs?

Elementary schools are NOT included in the random search program. The primary focus will be on our high schools; however, free air sniffs can be conducted on middle school campuses if necessary. 

Will K-9 free air sniffs be announced to students and parents prior to beginning?

No. The lockdown notification will be the only indication that a K-9 free air sniff will commence. Students need to be aware that the program is in place and that their school may be selected for a K-9 free air sniff at any time. However, students will not know when/where the K-9 free air sniffs will be conducted throughout the year. 

Please note that K-9 teams will not begin free air sniffs until students are clear of the area and a modified lockdown is in place.  

Please also note that parents/guardians will be notified if a school is placed in lockdown to conduct a K-9 free air sniff. Parents/guardians will be notified when the exercise concludes and the lockdown is lifted. 

Will parents/guardians be notified if the K-9 teams alerts to their student’s vehicle, locker, backpack, etc.?

Yes. A parent/guardian will be notified following the identification and securing of any contraband. If no contraband is found, the parent/guardian will receive notification that an administrative search involving their student took place as a result of a K-9 alert. 

Administrators will contact parents/guardians if a student is questioned or administratively searched as a result of the K-9 free air sniff. 

If a K-9 alerts a handler to the potential presence of contraband, will law enforcement conduct a search? 

No. Following a K-9 alert, a school administrator will be notified and a search will be conducted by school administrative staff. 

Will students be present or in the immediate area during a K-9 free air sniff?

No. There will be NO interaction between K-9 teams and students. Students will be removed from the area before the K-9 teams conduct the free air sniff. 

Will students be able to remove their belongings from a classroom before a K-9 free air sniff takes place?

No. Students will be instructed to leave all of their belongings and then they will be escorted to a secure area out of sight and sound of the K-9 team. If a K-9 alerts to a vehicle, locker, backpack or other item belonging to a student, the K-9 team will be removed and an administrator will advise the student of the alert. The student will then be advised that a search will be conducted by school administrative staff of the item marked by the K-9 team. 

If a student is found to be in possession of contraband, will they be disciplined and/or charged?

Yes. If a student is found in possession of an item that is a violation of the BCSD discipline policy, the student will face disciplinary action pursuant to Board policy. If the contraband also constitutes a violation of the law, the item will be immediately turned over to law enforcement. Law enforcement will determine charges related to the possession of contraband. 

What if my child has school/district authorization to carry medication on their person or in their belongings?

School nurses will verify if any students maintain special authority to possess medication or are authorized to carry lifesaving medications. If approved, the medication will be turned back over to the student; however, if not, the medication will be turned over to an administrator for proper processing. All other medications (over-the-counter, prescription, etc.) found will be seized by the Security and Emergency Management Team and turned over to an administrator.

Will special consideration be provided for students with special needs?

Administrators and school staff are accustomed to working with and accommodating students who have special needs. If you have specific questions, please contact the Security and Emergency Management Department.