Aurora used drug-sniffing dogs 28 times at schools — and community is asking why

A high school student was tackled and handcuffed at an Aurora school last month after a drug-sniffing dog found marijuana edibles in his backpack.

The incident, which Aurora school district officials say they are now investigation, has sparked outrage at the district and prompted a larger speech about school security as well as the practice of regularly searching schools with a hired K9 trained to sniff out drugs and weapons.

“It made us all feel uncomfortable,” aforementioned Marcus Macias, a student at Hinkley High School, who witnessed the incident and spoke to the school board about it. “The way they tackled that kid and put all that force on him, I don’t feel safe being at Hinkley. I didn’t expect that.”

RELATED:Colorado Supreme Court rules police need probable cause before exploitation pot-sniffing dogs to search for drugs

Teachers who besides spoke to the school board earlier this month aforementioned they couldn’t believe what happened in their school that day, and shared stories about their students being traumatized as they detected the boy screaming that he couldn’t breathe. According to witnesses, the boy was handcuffed by a field monitor, who is a district employee.

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Board members, who were unaware of the district’s practice of hiring dogs for school searches, asked the district for more information. Most aforementioned they had concerns, but besides didn’t want to jump to conclusions.

Read more from our partner at chalkbeat.org.

Chalkbeat Colorado is a nonprofit news organization covering education issues. For more, visit chalkbeat.org/co.