Police make drug arrests at PCHS

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 6, 2000

Managing Editor

Oct. 5, 2000 10 PM

Two Pike County High School students were arrested Wednesday, after officials with the Brundidge Police Department and the Department of Corrections found and confiscated a substance they believe to be marijuana.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

According to Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport, the arrests stemmed from a routine search of the school campus for controlled substances using a dog and handler supplied by the Department of Corrections.

According to Assistant Pike County School Superintendent Dr. Mark Bazzell, the search is part of school policy that allows open access for law enforcement into local schools to find potential problems.

"We are dedicated to keeping our schools safe and drug-free," Bazzell said. "We have issued a standing invitation to our local law enforcement to do whatever is necessary to keep our schools drug-free. It’s unfortunate that substances believed to be drugs were found, but we hope this message will serve as a deterrent to students who would be inclined to bring controlled substances on our campuses throughout Pike County."

Davenport said the dog from the Department of Corrections and officers conducted a thorough investigation at the school and he also hopes the message sent out is the right one.

"Because this is a school and these individuals are juveniles, this is a sensitive matter," Davenport said. "Still, we want to send a message that students who bring drugs on the school campuses, whether it’s Goshen, Brundidge or Troy, are risking a lot by doing so. We do not want to see drugs in our schools."

The substances that were confiscated during the Wednesday raid have not been tested for toxicity, so Davenport would not speculate as to whether or not it was, without a doubt, marijuana.

"Testing will have to determine that," he said. "Still, we believe the substance to be marijuana."

Bazzell said the raid was a highly secret one, conducted without the principal’s knowledge.

"When we do these things, we go to great lengths to keep it quiet until the officers arrive," Bazzell said. "These are spot checks that will be routinely conducted to ensure that we stay on top of any potential drug problems at Pike County Schools, including Goshen, Banks and Brundidge."

Bazzell said the school’s policy extends to elementary and middle schools as well as the county’s high schools.

Davenport, like Bazzell, hopes the checks and subsequent arrests will send the message that bringing controlled substances on school property is a serious offense.

"We are going to be doing this periodically," Davenport said. "We want people to know and to understand that."

According to Davenport, the juveniles were taken into custody. He did not comment on what charges they are facing.

"I don’t want to say much more," he said. "This is a policy sanctioned by the school board and we want it to deter drugs on campus."

According to reports, there were two places where a substance believed to be marijuana were found – in a student’s personal property, reported to be a book bag or backpack, and in the vehicle of another student. Davenport would not comment on whether or not the vehicle was impounded.