Drug Free Zone gets District of Hope approval

By Delaney Stich
Hope Secondary School
Hope, British Columbia

As of February 28, the leadership class and the Student Advisory Council at Hope Secondary School and the Town Council of Hope recognized the area around the school as a "Drug Free Zone".

Representatives from the school joined H.S.S. liaison officer, RCMP Constable Jeff Scott on this evening to present the "Drug Free Zone" concept to the town's elected officials. At this meeting, the town council approved the idea, and set aside the decision regarding funding for the signs until estimates are obtained.


The school's administration, students and the RCMP have yet to set up an official perimeter around our school as the actual area it will cover is still being determined. Once this is done, signs will bill posted indicating that there is a ZERO tolerance for drugs within the area.

This "Zone" is not a new concept. Similar "Drug Free Zones" are run in Kamloops, Victoria, and Kelowna. By the sounds of everything the program is well run and highly respected throughout the schools in those communities.

This "Drug Free Zone" means an increase in punishment not a change in law. The police already have the right to suggest strict adherence to punishments when anyone is caught with drugs around ANY school. This Zone will only make those boundaries clearer and getting caught with a roach, joint, bag, or even an ounce of weed could result in the same punishment. The only difference with charges is if you are caught with enough to be charged with trafficking, or caught with a harder drug.

As for being caught with nothing but being high, police have no say in that, although, if you are thought to be ‘ripped', the school still has the right to suspend you.

The "Drug Free Zone" is new to our school, but the law behind it is not. Drugs are illegal, and are not tolerated in any school area. As Constable Scott says, "School is a place to learn not a place for drugs."