HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Random Drug Raids Target High Schools
Pubdate: Thu, 10 Oct 2002
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2002 Calgary Herald
Author: Deborah Tetley


Swarming 'A Proactive Move'

Calgary police are conducting random raids on all high schools throughout 
the city in an effort to crack down on illegal drug activity.

Since the beginning of the school year teams of seven officers swarm a 
different school on a weekly basis, catching students in the throes of drug 

Police monitor the area surrounding a particular school for up to several 

As a result of the latest blitz, at Bishop Paul O'Byrne senior high school 
in the southeast, 13 students were suspended Tuesday for five days for 
using marijuana near the LRT parking lot across the street.

A small amount of pot was seized but no charges were laid.

The new enforcement program is aimed at educating students and parents on 
the perils of using drugs, in addition to nabbing people selling to kids, 
police say.

Once a student is caught, police then escort the offending student back to 
school for disciplinary measures by the administration.

"It's a proactive move," said the school's resource officer, Const. Dwayne 
Peace. "We use discretion in that we could go through the courts but we owe 
it to the kids and parents to present another option if it's their first time."

The raid list was drawn up at random by Calgary police in September and 
each school will be targeted once. The most recent crackdown was the year's 
fifth, so far.

"We target all high schools," Peace said. "No one school is more different 
than another."

Once the rotation is complete, the officers will reconvene and reassess the 
program before deciding whether to continue.

This "drug swarming" is part of school resource officers' larger plan to 
educate and inform students.

Once students are suspended, they must participate in an intake program 
prior to being reinstated.

Parents and suspended students are expected to attend a drug education 
lesson with Peace in which, among other issues, he addresses the legal 
implications of drug use as well as the physical dangers.

A spokesman for the Calgary Catholic school district said the board has a 
zero-tolerance policy on drug use.

"We take this very seriously," spokesman Graham White said Wednesday.

White said each of the 13 students at Bishop O'Byrne will also be expected 
to write a letter to the administration indicating they are willing to make 
the appropriate changes and justify why they should be allowed back to class.

"They have to confirm that they will participate in the intake program and 
not continue to use illegal substances," White said.
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