Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Drug Buster Sniffs for Drugs at Schools

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Drug Buster Sniffs for Drugs at Schools

Article excerpt

Katrina Harmer just walked away when a schoolmate at Arlington

Middle School bragged to her after a test.

The girl wasn't boasting of a good grade, though.

"We had to take a written drug test," said Harmer, 14. "One of

the people in my class told me that out of 99 things on the

test, there were only three things that she hadn't done."

Harmer, an eighth grader, was dismayed but not surprised.

"I didn't say anything. I just walked away for a few minutes,"

she said.

Duval County school officials have run into hundreds of drug

cases over the past three years -- and have hired a Jacksonville

man with high-tech drug detector to combat the problem.

"Kids know that we're working very diligently. Hopefully we'll

see it's made a difference," said Joe Seager, assistant

superintendent for school support services.

According to reports from the Duval County school system, the

system had 175 drug incidents during the 1993-94 school year,

199 in 1994-95 and 199 so far this school year. Drugs of some

kind or students on drugs have been found at every school each

of those years, reports show.

Seager cautioned that the increased number of drug incidents

over the years could reflect more diligent detection, not

necessarily more drugs.

Still, the numbers worried him enough to contract with Lindy

Amyx, owner of 21st Century Security Technology. A former

security guard and cleaning business owner, Amyx and his $70,000

Ionscan visited the 39 middle and high schools in the Duval

County system three times this year.

The school system is paying around $40,000 for Amyx's services,

Seager said.

Amyx checked lockers yesterday at Arlington Middle School for

drugs. He took a hand-held vacuum -- sort of like a Dustbuster

with a cylinder at the tip -- and sucked dirt around the locks,

collecting it onto a Teflon filter. …

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