Lockdown Search at Liberty HS: No Drugs Found
The lockdown drill had 'a much greater purpose' than finding illegal narcotics, Bethlehem police say. Safety procedures of school and staff were tested.
UPDATED: 5:25 p.m.
After about an hour, Bethlehem police tweeted that the lockdown was lifted and that no drugs were found.
“The purpose of these procedures is to keep our children safe and drug free,” Liberty Principal Harrison Bailey III wrote in a message to parents, which was reproduced on the school district Website and the Bethlehem Police blog.
“These trained officers searched the school for drugs and paraphernalia, under the direct supervision of BASD administrators,” Bailey wrote.
During the search, movements of students and staff were restricted while K9 units conducted a contraband search, which included student lockers, according to Bailey and police tweets.
What do you think? Should the Bethlehem Police Department conduct periodic sweeps for narcotics in school?
However, the lockdown drill and narcotics search was a cooperative enterprise that was initiated by Bailey and had “a much greater purpose” than finding illegal drugs, Bethlehem police said late Tuesday afternoon through its blog.
“This event was initiated by Principal Bailey … in an effort to best prepare his staff to protect the students during an emergency situation,” police wrote. “As a part of this exercise, he also asked that we conduct a sweep of the lockers for any narcotics.”
The drill “tested the internal procedures of the school and staff” to put the school on lockdown, police said. The check for illegal drugs in students’ lockers was “cursory,” police added.
“We know, understand, and fully appreciate that there may have been drugs in other locations, on students, or missed by the dogs,” the blog continued. “What needs to be considered is that there is a much greater purpose for these events than finding a bag of weed.
“Every time we meet with school officials, we discuss plans, ideas and strategies. We work together and get to know one another better. We learn from each of these experiences. We are better prepared today to deal with any event at Liberty High School than we were yesterday, regardless of the scope. That is the real purpose of these events.”
Bethlehem police announced the lockdown via Twitter at 9 a.m., posting: “This is a drill. No students are in any danger,” and “Increased police activity is part of the drill.”
Later, police clarified: “The lockdown was a drill. The search is real.”
There was some pushback to the lockdown and search on Twitter.
“Is there evidence narcotics are in school?” one poster asked. “It’s a school not a jail.”
Another poster asked: “Is this legal?”
“Yes. Legal and proper,” police replied.