HUDSON — Growing concerns over students’ alleged drug use led to a random search of Alvirne High School early Wednesday morning, police and school officials said.
About 20 police cruisers were parked outside Route 102 high school shortly before 9 a.m., including cruisers from Londonderry and Nashua.
An officer working at the scene declined to comment on the search that was under way and referred all inquiries to Hudson Police Capt. William Avery or Principal Steve Beals.
Beals said the search was a multi-pronged effort to address concerns “both within the schools and the Hudson community as a whole, where drug use and availability has increased within our society.”
Students were evacuated from their classrooms as police officers and several K-9 units searched the entire school, including surrounding buildings and property.
K-9 units from Londonderry, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Nashua, Goffstown, Pittsfield, Manchester and Salem, as well as the Massachusetts communities of Chelmsford, Lowell and Suffolk County, were all deployed for the search, according to Avery.
Avery said drugs were discovered on the Hudson campus, though he declined to reveal what type or how much.
“We won’t be sharing specifics at this time,” Avery said Wednesday afternoon. “But I can say that our mission was definitely accomplished.”
Avery also declined to comment on how many students were involved, though he stressed there would be “serious consequences” for any students found guilty of drug possession.
The search was completed in just over 20 minutes, with students evacuated for just over a half-hour.
Avery credited the many area police forces that assisted in making the random search “as nondisruptive to the school day as possible.”
“This is part of an ongoing effort between the entire school district, the town and the police department to address various reports of drug activity within this school,” he said. “Really, this is only the beginning of what we have planned.”
Beals said the students weren’t told the reason for the evacuation, but noted that “all normal evacuation procedures” were followed before police and K-9 units entered the buildings.
A local mother, who did not want her name revealed, said she received a text message from her son, a freshman at Alvirne High School, just after 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.
She said her son told her he’d just been evacuated from school but wasn’t told the reason for the evacuation.
Parents, who were notified of the search via an email blast a short time later, reported being initially concerned about the evacuation, with several noting that the incident was particularly frightening since it echoed another incident at the high school earlier this month.
On Friday, Oct. 18, the high school was evacuated and students were sent home early because of a suspected gas leak. The issue was promptly addressed, and students and staff were back at school on Monday.