K9s Found 30 Guns at DFW Schools This Year

The dogs have also helped make over 1,500 drug seizures across 100 local school districts in the DFW area.

K9s Found 30 Guns at DFW Schools This Year

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Trained search dogs found as many as 30 guns at Dallas-Fort Worth area schools this school year.

H1 K9 Consultants, a private company that uses dog handlers to conduct campus searches, said the dogs also helped make over 1,500 drug seizures across 100 local school districts in the Metroplex, NBC reports.

“Our biggest fears are fentanyl and firearms,” said Josh Ellis, owner of H1 K9 Consultants. “Those are the two biggest things, even as a handler.”

Garland ISD uses the dogs daily. When guns or drugs are found, Mark Quinn, director of security, said they launch an evaluation of the student to consider the next steps, which could include discipline, access to mental health resources, or criminal charges.

“A kid can’t learn when they’re looking over their shoulder, that’s our motto,” said Quinn. “So we wanted to add the K9 program, it’s just another tool in our toolbox.”

Guns in Texas Schools Up 71%

According to the Texas Education Agency, the number of students disciplined for bringing a gun to school across the state increased from 222 incidents during the 2018-19 school year to 381 during the 2022-23 school year — a 71% increase.

During the same period, the number of weapons confiscated on Fort Worth ISD campuses nearly doubled from 13 to 24, the Star-Telegram reports. Last school year, campus leaders confiscated weapons three separate times at Eastern Hills High School. Weapons were also seized three times at Southwest High School, including twice in one day.

Danny Garcia, executive director of safety and security at Fort Worth ISD, told the Star-Telegram that he suspects one of the main reasons for the uptick in guns is a lack of proper gun storage by parents. When the district seizes a weapon from a student, in most cases, the student got it at home, he said.

An estimated 30 million children live in homes with firearms, including 4.6 million in households that report storing firearms loaded and unlocked, according to the CDC.

Fentanyl in Texas Schools

According to the CDC, nationwide, fentanyl was involved in more than three-quarters of adolescent overdose deaths in 2021. Deaths among kids 14 and younger are increasing faster than in any other age group.

Between Sept. 2022 and Feb. 2023, nine students within the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District overdosed on fentanyl. Three of the students died, and one of the students overdosed twice, according to a statement by the US Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas.

While not in the DFW area, in the first week of school in 2022, four students died from fentanyl poisoning.

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About the Author

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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