Selma High lockdown, drugs found

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In an effort to enhance school safety, Selma High School and the Selma Police department held an unannounced lockdown drill Tuesday morning.

Gerald Shirley, superintendent of Selma City Schools, said K9 units were brought in to sniff lockers and students for any illegal substances.

“This is part of our school safety plan and due to the incidents that happened most recently in schools nationwide, part of our plan has been to step up lockdown drills,” Shirley said. “We’re looking for any illegal contraband.”

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After conducting the two-hour lockdown, Chief of Police William T. Riley said no weapons were found, but a small amount of marijuana was discovered.

“We found some small amount of what we believe to be marijuana,” said Riley, adding that he along with the police department will continue to investigate the situation.

The drug was not found on a student or in a locker, but in a small bag near a trash bin, Riley said.

Both Riley and Shirley said more unannounced lockdown drills can be expected at Selma High in the future.

“Really what we’ve begun to do is have more lockdowns than the state requires,” Shirley said. “The state requires that we have one lockdown per semester.”

Shirley said he is looking to increase security measures throughout the school to make sure no illegal substances or weapons are brought in. All students will be searched with hand-held scanners upon entering the school, he said.

“We’ve also asked the school administrators and the teachers to be more visible — visibility is a key thing,” Shirley said.

As for the police department, Riley said his goal is to assist the school and its safety in any way he can.

“We want to make our schools safer,” Riley said. “We’ll be conducting drills and meeting with personnel.”