School gets sniffer dog
Canine to help combat drug use by pupils
A Drug-sniffing canine will be on gate duty at a private school in Kwazulu-natal in January.
Posh, a German Shepherd, is the new addition to Ashton International College’s security team when schools reopen for the new year .
The school in Ballito recently came under the spotlight when two pupils were expelled after being found to have contravened its code of conduct, which prohibits pupils from bringing to school, consuming, distributing or testing positive for drugs or alcohol on or off the campus and at any school function.
It is alleged that in October a Grade 10 pupil had given a Grade 11 pupil cannabis oil, which was then used in front of other children in the senior college ablution facility.
Following a disciplinary both pupils were expelled.
Joe Erasmus, managing director of Ashton International Colleges, said Posh, together with the school’s senior security officer and dog handler, Isaac Nyaba, will be stationed at the pedestrian security guard house, where visitors, pupils and parents enter and exit daily.
“She is trained in a variety of security matters as well as illegal substances and, in more common terms, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, mandrax, dagga, tik cat and combinations of other drugs. Isaac is on a one-month training course currently in Pretoria to be trained fully on handling and taking care of her,” said Erasmus.
He said pupils and visitors would not just be sniffed on entering the school.
“Trained dogs will be able to pick up the scent of most illegal substances. hearing Instead of making use of an outsourced dog, the random checks will be done by Ashton’s own dog,” said Erasmus.
Erasmus said Ashton had been researching the purchase of a welltrained dog for a while, adding that the process was already in progress and the purchase finalised before the incident.
“We have 100% support from our parent body,” he said.
A parent, Beverley Gaul, commended the school for being proactive.
“When the children see the dog they will ask questions, creating a discussion and raise awareness. Drugs are a real problem and to pretend it isn’t a problem is bizarre. Prevention is better than cure. This is a great deterrent,” said the mother of two.
Jeanne Cassidy, also a parent, said schools should be safe.
“I am in support of this. If I know my 10-year-old is safe, then I am happy. Kids are subjected to peer pressure on a daily basis. All big problems start with something small,” said Cassidy.
POSH and dog handler Isaac Nyaba will be part of Ashton International College’s security team.