Drugs in school a policing issue, says board superintendent

Nancy
Nancy MacPhee
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SUMMERSIDE — A student arrested for drug trafficking at a Summerside school is a not an issue for the English Language School Board to comment on, said superintendent Cynthia Fleet.

Lori St. Onge (left) and English Language School Board superintendent Cynthia Fleet during Tuesday's monthly board meeting.

In November, a 17-year-old city teen was arrested inside Three Oaks Senior High School, found with 2.5 ounces of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia.

He now faces drug-trafficking charges and a potential two-year prison sentence.

During the arrest, police seized prepackaged marijuana and the drug in bulk, along with a digital scale used to weigh the drug, cash, cellphone and packaging supplies.

Following Tuesday night’s monthly board meeting, Fleet said it was a police issue.

“Law enforcement did arrest a student and that individual has been charged but that would really be a police matter to comment,” said the superintendent.

Having a police office situated in the school had been raised earlier in the year by Summerside city council, something, at the time, Three Oaks Senior High principal Nicole Haire said she supported.

The idea was to have an officer act as a liaison between the city, students, parents and teachers and promote positive relationships with the students.

When asked if having such an incident occur within one of the board’s 57 schools was concerning enough to look at having a police presence at Three Oaks, Fleet said that hasn’t been discussed at the board level.

“The school board is not provided with resources to provide law enforcement officers in schools,” she said. “That would be the city councils that would take that on.”

Asked if the issue of drug use and drug trafficking is far reaching within the board’s schools, particularly the junior high and high schools, Fleet said, “it is a problem with other schools in the nation, so it’s not unusual and it is unfortunate.”

“Needless to say communities are concerned about involvement in illicit drugs, use of alcohol or abuse of alcohol,” she added. “We have counsellors in our schools and counselling consultants and we’re doing our best to work with addictions services, etc. But, a student who has issues like that, the resources that are in the school right now are the ones that are made available to them. That’s done through the counselling centres.”

Following his arrest, the teen was released to his parents and is scheduled to appear in a Summerside court to answer to the drug-trafficking charge.

Haire has been contacted for comment but has indicated she is unable to do so.

 

 

nmacphee@journalpioneer.com

 

 

 

Organizations: Summerside city council

Geographic location: Summerside

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