WALES — Oak Hill High School was locked down briefly Friday while police searched the building for drugs.

James Hodgkin, superintendent of Regional School Unit 4, said Maine State Police arrived with drug-sniffing dogs for a planned search, but were unable to find any illegal drugs. The district serves Litchfield, Sabattus and Wales.

“The results were very positive,” Hodgkin said of the search.

This is the first time in at least three years that police have searched the high school, Hodgkin said. The school board has lately developed policies for conducting searches inside the high school of about 500 students, he said.

“We are committed to letting the students know we are serious about keeping drugs out of our school,” Hodgkin said. “We’ll do this randomly going forward.”

The school board was aware a search was being coordinated with police, Hodgkin said, but only he and Oak Hill Principal Patricia Doyle and Assistant Principal Robert Birmingham knew when the search would take place.

Police dogs found a couple of suspicious areas, but no drugs were found when those areas were checked, Hodgkin said.

He said the results do not prove the school’s students are drug-free, but they may indicate the problem is not as bad as some community members fear or that students are being careful not to bring drugs to school.

“I’m very pleased,” Hodgkin said. “This was a really good day. We’ll continue working on it.”


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