No arrests from K9 search at Milford High

MILFORD – No arrests were made as a result of the K9 drug search at Milford High School last week.

School officials issued a statement two days after the April 29 drug sweep when five police dogs searched classrooms and lockers for 40 minutes as students and teachers waited in the football field.

Schools Superintendent Jessica Huizenga initially said the district would not release the findings, but on May May 1 a revised statement from the SAU office said no arrests were made. It was the district’s first search of its kind, and Huizenga had referred to a youth risk survey that shows a high percentage of the high school’s students reported seeing drugs or vapping products in the school.

Milford’s K9 team was joined by police and dogs from three other New Hampshire police departments and one from Maine.

Some speakers at the school board’s meeting Monday night addressed the search, including senior Alex Taylor who called it “a show of force” that will not help.

Chairman Ron Carvell said the point of the search was “not for catching” anyone, but as a way to face the opioid epidemic – for education and for identifying the problems.

Longtime teacher Paul Joyce, a recovery coach, said there is no evidence that costly drug searches curtail drug use, and the high school search resulted in confusion among students and distrust of teachers, damaging the school’s culture.

“It’s not what we did or did not find,” he said, “but what we lost.”

He talked about the importance of prevention and treatment and invited school officials to join CAST (Community Action for Safe Teens) at the Boys & Girls Club.

Kathy Cleveland may be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.