A small plastic baggie with cocaine residue was found in a hall at Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary on the morning of Friday, March 3.
“We don’t know how it got into the school,” said local RCMP Constable Brandon Brett, adding that the baggie was too small to pick up on security video.
Brett said it may have fallen out of someone’s pocket, or come in on someone’s footwear, and it could have belonged to a student or an adult.
After confirming that the residue was indeed cocaine, Brett spoke with principal Bernadette Marie and agreed to visit the school to have an informal, educational talk about drug issues with students.
“We wanted to make sure students were safe,” said Brett, who volunteered to speak separately with Grades 8 and 9 students, and then with seniors on his day off. Brett spoke about where students can turn if they have drug or alcohol problems in their own lives, or at home.
“One of the things I tried to stress to the students is that if they come forward to a teacher, a school counsellor or the RCMP, they can remain anonymous,” he said.
“We’re not going to publicize that or share it with anyone else.”
Brett is a D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer, who normally talks about drug abuse with younger students. Last week, he spoke about the issue in more depth with high school seniors, and not only about the criminal consequences of possession.
“We’re not always just out trying to put people in jail,” he said.
“We’re also a big part of the educational push behind the scenes. We try to have positive interactions with students as well, about serious topics.”
“I really feel it makes a difference in students’ lives.”