HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Police Raid Two Local High Schools
Pubdate: Sat, 16 Nov 2002
Source: Sun Times, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002, OSPREY MEDIA GROUP INC.
Author: Don Crosby


A raid by police at two Grey County high schools was initiated by the 
principals as a way of promoting a safe learning environment, said a 
Bluewater District School Board spokeswoman.

Four OPP canine units and several uniformed officers drawn from as far as 
Orillia conducted search and seizure operations at high schools in Meaford 
and Flesherton on Friday.

Police raided the Georgian Bay Secondary School in Meaford at about 9 a.m. 
followed by a search at Flesherton's Grey Highlands Secondary School 
shortly before 11 a.m.

The aim of the police search was to find illegal drugs stored on school 
property in lockers, storage bins or student backpacks.

OPP Senior Const. Steve Starr said police made 13 marijuana seizures. Drug 
possession charges are pending against 11 students.

"During the search, police were mindful of other items that might cause 
concern for student safety, such as alcohol or weapons, but no such 
articles were located," said Starr.

School officials said the police action was part of a larger plan to create 
safe schools and to promote zero tolerance of drugs and alcohol in schools. 
It's not an indication of a drug problem in those schools, they said.

"It's a pro-active approach to ensuring a safe learning environment and 
it's an opportunity for schools to send a strong message to their students 
that drugs won't be tolerated," said Alana Murray, superintendent of 
secondary schools.

"It's not a decision that is taken lightly," added Murray. She said four 
other schools have already had police in for similar searches in Chesley, 
Kincardine, Hanover and at Saugeen.

Police teams searched each room Friday. Students were asked to line up in 
the hallway while dogs sniffed clothing, musical instruments, or personal 
items left in the classrooms. Lockers were searched too.

Starr said students were not searched and arrested unless they were 
suspected of possessing a drug uncovered in the raid.

Please See RAID, Page 2

Smith said he asked police to visit the school as part of a program of 
promoting a safe learning environment.

"In every school drugs are a concern and we hope to send a strong message," 
said Grey Highlands principal John Smith, adding, "Generally we get a 
positive response by parents."

After the search, some police officers and one of the dogs attended a 
school assembly and answered questions from students.

Smith noted that while none of the students was arrested for trafficking in 
drugs, those found guilty of possession will face suspensions.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens