by mike lesko | Reporter

Aurora -- The school district conducted a routine drug search April 24 at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot and inside Aurora High School, according to Superintendent Russ Bennett.

No illegal drugs were found inside the school by police officers and dogs, said Bennett, who informed parents about the search with an automated phone call, but he said the dogs alerted on some vehicles in the parking lot that police then searched, and some items were confiscated.

"The dogs sniff the external parts of the car, and when a dog shows interest, a search of the vehicle takes place," Bennett said. "We've found evidence of marijuana residue, called shake, and pipes and scales in cars. It's unfortunate, but if we find it now and work with the parents, maybe we can stop a crisis in the future."

Bennett declined to say how many vehicles were searched.

"We were pleased the vast majority of the cars do not get any interest [from police dogs]," Bennett said, "but when we find drugs or paraphernalia in a car, the police and school work together to handle the issue."

No charges have been filed as a result of the search, officials said.

School Resource Officer Michelle Ice and Police Officer Chris Reiter organized the search and invited police canine units from Portage, Summit and Cuyahoga counties, including Streetsboro, East Cleveland, Canal Fulton, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority and the Ohio State Parks.

Aurora High School has had one or two drug searches annually for more than four years, Bennett said.

"We all want our schools to be drug free, but we know that drugs pervade all communities, and Aurora is not immune to that," he said. "We conduct these unannounced searches to ensure our buildings and grounds are drug free."

Bennett said the search was conducted while classes remained in session. "I trust that we're all grateful that we're vigilant in trying to keep our students healthy and alive," he said.


Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187