Needles found in Vernon playground an isolated incident: School District

FILE PHOTO: This file photo shows a needle and packaging.

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.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

Mount Eneas wildfire as seen from Highway 97C near Peachland the evening of Thursday, July 19, 2018
Mount Eneas wildfire near Peachland stable at 1,000 ha
PEACHLAND - The Mount Eneas wildfire, about four kilometres south of Peachland, is still about 1,000 hectares and is being described by emergency officials as stable this morning. The lightning-caused blaze was discovered on Tuesday, July 1

Top News