While some schools in Florida are hiring combat veterans to bring assault rifles to school in an effort to protect students from guns, another school system is taking a gentler approach. Noblesville, Indiana understands first-hand how important it is for schools to invest in security. Back on May 25, 2018, a 13-year-old student brought a gun into the classroom and injured seventh-grade teacher Jason Seaman and 13-year-old student Ella Whistler.
Before the school shooting, Noblesville never thought they were a community of violence. But the shooting proved otherwise and became a very sour stain on their community record. Thankfully, no one was murdered, and the killing is now serving time in juvenile prison.
Because the incident happened, parents and administrators were worried it could happen again. That’s why the people at Noblesville West Middle School have been working on the clock to come up with a safety plan in the event of an active shooter. Instead of hiring combat veterans to come to class, Noblesville hopes to bring a team of very-skilled Labrador retrievers to their facility.
The school hopes to test out a new program for the upcoming year. Three Labradors will come into the school on regular intervals to target students, sniffing them and their lockers, searching for guns, ammunition, and firearm-related items. These Labradors are good at what they do and could spot any student who has brought a gun on campus in a matter of minutes.
Although these sniffer dogs could do good work if a student brought a gun on campus, they would be useless against an active shooter. They’re a preventive measure and not a cure-all for the problem that America faces.
Nevertheless, a similar program is already working in Michigan. Elite Detection K9 has seen a lot of interest in using Labradors to protect students in schools. One of the reasons Labradors are so popular is because they’re a “less threatening” breed of dog than German Shepherds and other common K9 unit animals that have the weapon sniffing skill.
Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in January 2019 that the Clark County School District swore two Labrador retrievers to conduct random searches of all the country’s middle and high schools for weapons and weapon-related items.
Labs can smell firearms and weapons from a distance. This makes it easy for the Labs to pass through the school without having to interact with the students. But kids will be kids, and kids love dogs, especially Labrador retrievers. That’s why the Noblesville School District is drafting up a plan to allow students time to interact with the dogs, which will be allowed when they’re not working to keep them safe from firearms and guns on school grounds.
“The dogs will have bandannas on to indicate when they are working visually,” stated the school’s release. “We will teach students how to interact with the dogs and appreciate parents reinforcing this message.”
What do you think about using weapon-sniffing dogs to keep schools safe? Do you think Noblesville is making a wise choice or should they bring in combat veterans?
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