Needles found in Vernon playground an isolated incident: School District - InfoNews

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Needles found in Vernon playground an isolated incident: School District

FILE PHOTO: This file photo shows a needle and packaging.
April 10, 2017 - 8:16 AM

VERNON - The Vernon School District is hoping to find out who scattered dozens of needles around a local school yard, and why.

Roughly 50 needles were found by teachers at the Harwood Elementary School playground Friday morning, April 7.

Superintendent of School District 22 Joe Rogers says the needles all appeared unused.The vast majority still had caps on them.

Students were kept away from the area while maintenance staff cleared the grounds.

“Every school has the equipment they need to dispose of needles,” Rogers says. “There are protocols.”

Nowhere near this amount of needles have ever been found on school grounds, although a small number were found at Harwood Elementary in September 2016.

Rogers describes last Friday’s discovery as an unusual and isolated incident. 

“We certainly hope to find out where they came from so it doesn’t happen again,” he says.

The RCMP attended on Friday and the school hopes to see increased patrols around the school.

Harwood Elementary does not have video surveillance, but the district is considering that in light of the incident.

Students will be visited by a nurse and the district’s substance abuse and prevention counsellor this week for education about needle safety.

“This is not a school issue, this is a community issue,” Rogers says. “I think this is a great opportunity for us to continue to work with Interior Health, and for Interior Health to work with RCMP and the community to make sure these kinds of things don’t happen.”

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