ADMINISTRATORS AT Stillwater High School recently spent $900 on a drug-detecting gizmo that could render random locker searches and hall monitors a thing of the past. If it works, that is. The Quadro Positive Molecular Locator Device is, according to the local sales rep, a gadget resembling a remote control that supposedly can be used to detect virtually anything, including drugs. It's said to work like a high-tech divining rod--the antenna wiggles when a trained operator walks past drugs.
"It works off molecular frequencies," explains local Quadro salesman Richard Hill Sr. "Everything resonates on a molecular frequency." The Quadro "lab" in Harleyville, S.C., programs a "frequency card" with the molecular vibes of whatever substance the client wants detected--drugs, tobacco, and gunpowder, in Stillwater's case. Once the right frequency card is plugged into the device, a hall monitor simply carries the locator through the halls and, like a witching wand, the antenna points out where the drugs are.
Not surprisingly, the Quadro Positive Molecular Locator Device has been met with a dose of skepticism. A representative from the South Carolina company declined to discuss the product, but faxed 20 pages of testimonial letters from satisfied principals and cops. Richard Hill Jr., who works with dad for Quadro, says the company is in the process of verifying the legitimacy of its product. "[Quadro] has two scientists coming in," he says. "I'm not exactly sure who they are or where they're from; they can't tell how it works but they're going to tell us that it does work."
The locator doesn't impress Stillwater Assistant Principal Tom Cole. "I'm kind of old-fashioned, and I think I can zero in on [drugs] without this device," he says. "It isn't anything that we aren't doing already--if I want to look in a locker, I can look in a locker."