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Have pupppy, will travel

Matt Westerhold • Mar 23, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Police action at Perkins Schools

After getting a couple of calls last Friday from parents of students in the Perkins school district, we learned that, yes, indeed, there had been a lockdown at Perkins High School and another at Briar Middle School on Thursday.

I don't think police and school officials intended to let the media know about the police action, but the parents who contacted me were a bit ticked.

Both of the parents told me their children were "huddled" in their classroom and kept there past the normal change in classes without any explanation. One parent told me he felt like the school district treated them "like mushrooms, kept in the dark and covered with (excrement)."

The parent of the other student said the Sandusky Police Department now had a canine unit and by God they were going to use that puppy.

I expected a predictable response from police after we began asking questions, and sure enough that's what we got. Acting Perkins police chief Lt. Robb Parthemore said the sweep was routine and schools superintendent Jim Gunner said, “It’s just a way for us to be proactive to help keep our kids off the drugs.”

OK. We'll ask for the police reports on these previous routine sweeps, and we'll see what we get. But I just don't understand why students were "huddled," as the parents described. If you're being pro-active to keep kids off drugs then why on earth would you not tell them that's what you were doing when you brought police dogs into the school halls? Why frighten kids needlessly? Why keep them in the dark?

I appreciate the work school professionals do every day, and I understand that sometimes mistakes are made. But if there was a breakdown in communication that led to students being "huddled," that doesn't sound too routine to me. And the leaderless law enforcement community in Erie County has shown itself to be untrustworthy, in my opinion, so it's difficult to simply accept the information that has been provided by the PPD.

I wish it weren't so. But I think police never intended to let the public know about the action on Thursday at the two schools.They might have told us if there had been any arrests or any drugs found, but that didn't happen. It sucks to be so suspicious, but that suspicion is well-earned. I understand the code of silence.

And now, since no drugs were found in the sweep, will the school district celebrate that fact and let the students know they did good? 

Who knows?

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