Drug use rampant at Colonel Gray: Keizer

Dave Stewart
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Assaults, vandalism, speeding, liquor other issues Const. Tim Keizer has dealt with at Colonel Gray

A program which saw a police constable at Colonel Gray on a daily basis comes to an end in January. There is no funding to keep the program in place.

Colonel Gray High School’s resident police officer says a large number of students are abusing prescription pills and that’s only the tip of the problems he is seeing.

Const. Tim Keizer has been stationed at the Charlottetown school full time since the year began but is scheduled to depart Jan. 31 because the funding is running out.

Keizer says he’s making progress and he wants to stay but the city has said it can’t afford to pay the full bill for the rest of the year and the province, while it supports the program, says it can’t afford the $30,000 they’re being asked to pay.

Education Minister Alan McIsaac told The Guardian on Tuesday that it's difficult to come up with the money at this time of year, adding that the province has 63 schools to worry about.

“It’s bad, it’s bad,’’ Keizer told The Guardian Wednesday when asked how bad the drug use is at the school. “You’re going to be blown away when you get the actual percentage.’’

The number he talks about is the percentage of students using drugs. The Guardian was told it is 40 per cent of the student body that use drugs daily or have tried them this year. Keizer said students might say that figure should be higher.

“It is amazing. I was really taken back by the amount of drug activity that is (evident) at such an early age.’’

Keizer said over the years students have switched from alcohol to marijuana and hashish to the present favourite, prescription pills.

"Kids do not mind taking prescription pills to get high now," he said. "Now they have pill parties where everybody gets pills from mom and dad, or from old medications or something like that. They fire them in a bowl and everybody takes them, not having a clue what’s in them.’’

Pills aren’t the only problem at the Gray, said Keizer. Students have been coming to him complaining of “assaults of all natures’’.

He has also issued fines under the Liquor Control Act because adult-age students at the school are buying booze for minors.

Bullying is another problem he’s dealing with.

Keizer said he has also dealt with drug dealers right on the school property, as well as vandalism across the street at the seniors apartments and at Holy Redeemer Church.

“There’s a lot of kids self-medicating. There is no shortage of mental illness on P.E.I. and a lot of these kids are self medicating.’’

Darren O’Handley, program manager with the Provincial Addictions Treatment Facility, says Colonel Gray is not the only high school with a drug problem.

“The use of alcohol and other mood-altering drugs is not unique to any one school in Prince Edward Island,’’ said O’Handley, noting that Mental Health and Addictions Services provide support to youth and families impacted by substance use through a variety of services aimed at reducing the harms associated with substance use.

Keizer said problems begin before high school and a lot of it stems from the kinds of company students keep. Experimenting with drugs is starting as early as grades 7 and 8.

Keizer has set up what he calls ‘parent nights’ where he brings in a counselor from the addictions treatment facility to meet with parents and students.

“All we had was probably 30 parents that showed up. I don’t know what the issue was. We’re going to do it again in January. This is very real. There are countless kids coming down to my office that are talking about it, starting at 14 years old. Some of them started when they were 13 years old.’’

He says students experiment with drugs, find it’s fun and can’t cope when they get hooked.

The Guardian spoke with Kevin Whitrow, principal at the Gray on Tuesday, and he said there has been noticeable progress since Keizer started. Whitrow is hoping government can find the funding to keep Keizer at the school.

“He’s realistic about what’s going on and he’s trying to push things ahead,’’ Keizer said, referring to the principal. “I can’t even think about how many times I’ve been in the office with the principal and we’ve talked about somebody with drug issues and what they’re doing, bringing it to school and where they are no longer a part of the school because of it.’’

Keizer said having a police officer at the school makes it easier for the students to seek help. He has taken kids out of school immediately for medical attention.

“They’re coming down to my office where they would never come down to a police station . . . to talk to an officer about their drug use.’’

Keizer says the Gray needs to have an officer at the school. If not him, it needs to be someone.



Organizations: The Guardian, Charlottetown school, Holy Redeemer Church Mental Health and Addictions Services

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • sid wishes
    December 20, 2012 - 16:27

    It is no business of the state, whatsoever, what one chooses to do to their own brain. A 30 thousand dollar guidance counselor (with no education in the field) is a waste of money.

  • dm
    December 20, 2012 - 16:07

    Who went to high school past the 1950's and hasn't seen drugs n alcohol, lol why did this cop not do anything about it while he was there, he is still going to be a cop in chtown did no one tell him the gray was in chtown? is he getting transferred to the cpd arctic programme or something, sounds like another cop that is going on about all the problems for their own job security, yet doing little to fix the problem, like their kids and he can't stop them from doing what they want now were putting him back on the streets he will be totally lost with the adults won't he?

  • maryjaaaaaayne
    December 20, 2012 - 14:58

    i am only 25 so high school wasnt that long ago. cop or no cops drugs happen. I was looked at as one of the "bad kids" and have never once done pills, parents and mostly the children themselves have to make the decision for their actions. the fact people bring religion into this is a joke. jesus doesnt make anyone stop snorting pills. if anything i bet most would get high just to tolerate sitting through the religious parts. maybe the fact that pills are so widely available should be looked at.

  • Gerry
    December 20, 2012 - 14:19

    @ Bill, this is not a school problem. However, it is a societal problem which also affects children who happen to be attending (or not) school. The problem exists within various environments, so to dismiss it as merely being contained within the schools' walls, is irresponsible and totally ignorant.

    December 20, 2012 - 13:38

    This is what happens when you allow abortions and take god out of school. The children are now only concerned about devils grass (marijuana), devils water (alcohol), and the devils handshake (masturbation). Give your head a shake liberals and NDP BRING PRAYER BACK TO PEI.

    • Phreakpower
      December 20, 2012 - 13:52

      I'm not sure if you're serious or just crazy...

    • dm
      December 20, 2012 - 15:56

      ANGRYISLANDER, maybe if most of the parents of these kids would have thought about abortions, we would have to deal with all the troubled youth, maybe if bible thumpers like you hadn't keep society in the dark ages for too long no of this would be happening.

    • this is that?
      December 20, 2012 - 17:39

      Wow, a human can take God out of school? And here I thought God was omnipotent, created the marijuana plant and was left handed . . . hence the making of snow and sounds that even dogs can't hear.

      December 20, 2012 - 21:13

      There is no one taking god out of school. If someone who is christian wishes to say a grace before their day, test, or lunch no one will stop them. Saying it is mandatory for all, even those which do not believe in your sky friend, to pay homage is bigoted and wrong. I feel bad for you, that you get so upset when someone's opinion differs than yours. You have a lot of growing up to do until you can pass through the pearly gates.

  • Howard Marshall
    December 20, 2012 - 11:57

    When you take God out of the schools, Satan jumps in with both feet. Morals are not being taught in school or at home evidently. Permissiveness is not working. There must be a return to holding youth responsible for their actions. This means a return to corporal punishment. There is no other way. It's always been that way and it must be that way from now on. Without teaching solid moral and ethical ways and prayer, you will destroy your children. It will be YOUR fault and you will have to take responsibility for it.

    • you are certifiably nuts
      December 20, 2012 - 13:22

      Howard.... with all due respect, take your sky daddy beliefs and supposed morals and shove them.

    • Yepper
      December 20, 2012 - 14:57

      If it is boring, maybe we need something to do. A casino, a peeler bar, maybe a government subsidized brothel. Should bring some seventh into the city. Get rid of their Christian anti-sex bias and join the real world.

    • Only atheists
      December 20, 2012 - 15:33

      Only atheists should be allowed to speak publicly. They can prove all their positions with something called science. That's how you can tell them apart from "believers".

      December 20, 2012 - 18:44

      This is a bunch of hogwash. NDP and the liberals are just obsessed with killing our babies! All of these "pro-choice" (anti-life) people should be shipped up and sent somewhere else so us true islanders can stay on our peacfull island and pray together. God help us.

    • Anyone
      December 20, 2012 - 21:16

      Your morals suggest that those who do not believe what you believe deserve death? You are a sad excuse for a person if this is how you feel. A shameful human being you are.

  • scared
    December 20, 2012 - 11:37

    I really wish my kids did not have to be in this environment and did not have such easy access to drugs. I think with proper education about the potential harm and addiction that come with drugs, some might be too scared to try. That's the way it should be. They should respect themselves enough to not run that risk, but it seems to be too late. I am warning my kids that if they become addicted to drugs, nobody is going to be there to help them. No officers in the school, no rehab or counselling. All the services are being cut, and they will be on the street or in jail.

  • Spiderwoman
    December 20, 2012 - 10:03

    $30.00 not a lot of money, spend weekly on police patrolling bars in downtown, parents raising this amount and more to send sport teams away. If this is a honest and true problem then it should be dealt with. City of Charlottetown and government send counselors and city workers on business trips all the time. If we are going to elect this people into these positions then they have to look at this problem as serious and cut out what we don't need and take the money and spend it to help these youths to have half a chance to be productive citizens.... Or put a charge on my taxes to pay for such... I pay for 911 etc, why not for protection for our children. No brain...er..... Have a fun raiser... parents get together I'am in.... lets get this moving.....

  • No Accountability
    December 20, 2012 - 09:53

    I have attended some of the parents meetings regarding the drug problem at this school. I found them almost useless other than obtaining some gratification that you were not the only one experiencing the problem. No one can force your child to get help unless they agree to the help. Many parents will tell you that their kids are so selfish and disrespectful when they are under the influence of drugs that they basically hold you hostage in your own home until you build up the courage to show them the door after you have exhausted all other options. They will then gladly take the door so they can continue using the drugs knowing that they are torturing you with worrying about them while they are doing whatever they are doing while staying with other undesirables. I'm not sure what the solution is but I do know that all of this soft touch white glove compassionate treatment they get now does not work. Having a police officer in the school is not enough. Kids are not scared of the police in case you have not caught on to that. They will not be scared of the police until the police give them a reason to be scared to be caught. They will not be scared of their parents until their parents give them a reason to be scared to be caught. They need to know that there are consequences which negatively impact how they wish to live their lives. It's different for everyone. Anyways, I am very happy to be through those years.

  • fedup
    December 20, 2012 - 09:50

    Why not arm each teacher with a strap to regain control. Worked great in our day... There is a definate absence of respect from students and a lot of the younger generation. In some cases lack of parenting or role model but the blame can be shared by the students responsible and our elected officials who pussy foot around the problem. A respected officer informed them of the issues and the safety and security is thrown out the window over money. These students are the islands next generation, how foolish and irresponsible to not have the proper help and counciller readily available.

  • Prescription drug epidemic
    December 20, 2012 - 09:18

    The fact is there is a prescription drug epidemic on PEI but you will never hear the government sound the alarm because then they'd have to deal with it. Instead, they ignore it and go on with business as usual. Because the government is not taking leadership on this issue and addressing it, most of the population do not believe it is happening. Keeping your head in the sand doesn't take away the reality that the problem exists and needs to be addressed. Lives are being destroyed, families being torn apart, business are being broken into, people are being victimized in their homes for money or pills, children are going into foster care, and the list goes on and on. Having a police officer at Colonel Gray is just the start. We need to keep him there and find money for the other high schools too! Prevention is an important component in battling this problem.

  • this issue raises unearthly questions . . .
    December 20, 2012 - 09:04

    This government seems to imply that God sets budget priories; it's certainly not them. For most Islanders though, it's hard to believe that God loves pavement more than children. Well, one thing Islanders do know is that those we elected don't come close to listening to the electorate. So, if they're not listening to God, or to the majority of those who elected them, to whom do they listen? Hmmm, wonder if that pavement thing is a clue?

  • JRE
    December 20, 2012 - 08:39

    There is no excuse for kids to say there is nothing on PEI to do. There is no real excuse for this except poor parenting. Keep an eye on your kid, be involved in thier life... On the other hand.... why should a kid really be responsible... our courts and system treat drinking and driving and other crimes with kid gloves. Stick it to em and lock em up for a crap load of time and give em KD or weiners... Take away technology from the inmates... Then kids may see that its just a down hill slope. Our current govenment definitly doesnt seem to have the interests of thier citizens at the forfront. Drugs are rampant through almost every school here on PEI. There really has to be stricter laws when dealing with kids... release names and start treating em like adults (they do adult crimes) How about a national center for kids who do drugs.... instead of building a mega sized prison do it before they get to that level. First and formost parents have to take responsibility for thier children. And there has to be help for parents. The problem has to be tackled on each and every different level. and more power given to each level dealing with the kids... its almost like a free for all for the kids.

    • Beware the self-righteous
      December 20, 2012 - 10:21

      Golly JRE, the rest of us better not inhale whatever it is you're smokin' . . .

  • Where do you stop
    December 20, 2012 - 08:37

    This is what happens after a 'pilot' project ends. The expectation now is that it should be permanent. But the problem will still exist. It continued to exist even with the officer there. One officer will not make these problems go away. He will however take some pressure off the rest of the staff. Why aren't the parents engaged? Also if one officer gets assigned to 'this' school...what happens when the other schools (with similar issues) line up asking for the same? This problem is bigger than 'one officer' in the school.

    • Wrong Question?
      December 20, 2012 - 10:53

      The question is not, Where do you stop? The better question is, Where do we start? From where I stand, this pilot project is one of the better projects that should be funded by tax-payers. Like others have already stated, lest Islanders be planb'd over and over again, let's put our young people ahead of pavement.

  • JustAParent
    December 20, 2012 - 08:36

    I have a teenager that goes to this school and I think it's a great idea having Tim at the school. I also agree that 40% is a low figure, just from the conversations I've had with my son/daughter about the drug and alcohol use that goes on! From what I'm hearing the kids even enjoy having him at the school even if it's just to ask questions. It's not often you hear a teenager say they enjoy talking to a police officer!! I just wish they had more programs for the kids that are hooked on drugs/alcohol because as it stands right now it seems they have little or nothing. I do hope they find the funding because as a concerned parent it give me just a little relief knowing they can go and talk to him when need be!

  • Certified CFA
    December 20, 2012 - 08:28

    It has become evident that our priorities, according to our government, lie elsewhere. Huge party coming up in 2014, even though our budget is shot. The fact that Plan B has made this much progress makes me think that our government is a joke. Holman Grand has shut down this year, due to slow business. Will the city suffer from this investment? Const. Keizer has presented irrefutable truth to the fact that our youth are poisoning themselves slowly and paving the way to a very hard start at adulthood through the hindrance that comes through addiction. I've seen it throughout the comment thread, and I'm not shy to echo the sentiment...where do our priorities, as a province, stand?

  • Keith Doyle
    December 20, 2012 - 08:17

    If all of this is happening with a police officer actually at the school, I shudder to think what might be happening if there was no security.

    • okay
      December 20, 2012 - 11:35

      What would happen is what happens in every other school, they will do drugs. Except at this colonel grey it might happen less if they have a police officer. What do you thinks would happen? the school would explode or somthing.

  • Charles Doyle
    December 20, 2012 - 08:08

    Just a thought,maybe some of the multi-million dollar companies could get together and give a little of the tens of thousands they collected in PNP money to help this cause.These students will be the future labour force on P.E.I.This would be a good investment for these companies as the money was given to them,maybe it's time to give a little back.

    • Bill
      December 20, 2012 - 08:54

      Why can't the school population come up with the required funds to keep the officer there. Divide the cost by the student enrollment. User pay if you will.. It is a school problem so let them pay for it that way taxes don't go up for everyone. I totally agree that this is a problem and needs to be fixed but keep it in house. This will be incentives for other schools to stay clean.

  • urgent action needed
    December 20, 2012 - 07:58

    now not down the road, the police presence is a start, a drug sniffing dog should also be used, not kidding folks, and I think this program needs to be implemented at Junior high schools where most of the drug use starts, I know for a fact of a 13 yr old girl who is now into her 2nd year of using anything she can get her hands on to get high and you are probably asking well why don't I do something? what can I do, she is not my child and the laws have pretty well given minors the freedom to do whatever they want because they are protected and the parents that care are threatened by police, child care protection. As a parent we have no rights when it comes to making our kids mind, tne laws have to be changed Now if we are to save our kids from themselves. Find the money for this program and expand it to include the junior highs and more educators to the elementary kids, this is a drug war that needs to be stopped at all costs

    • treatment
      December 20, 2012 - 09:12

      I applaud Const Keizer's efforts. He sounds like a very compassionate person who recognizes the reality of the situation and the challenges the student population at this school (and others) face in today's society. As a peace officer, he is there to uphold the law and prevent crimes and investigate criminal matters. As a human being, he is pointing out the problems that substance abuse and addiction is facing almost HALF of the students at this school - that is scary - and the trickle down effect of paying for these addictions has on both property crime (and other crimes) as well as the cost to the city's government and residents and property owners as well as the time these addictions take city police away from investigating other crimes. What we need to do in PEI is borrow a page from countries which treat addiction as a health issue and we need to dramatically bump up the funding and resources for dealing with these kids and young adults. Because if we don't, our society will implode within a generation. That means establishing a publicly funded equivalent of the residential addictions treatment centre that is at Cassidy Lake outside Sussex, N.B. That means funding police officers for our high schools (e.g. 1 full time equivalent per 750 students). And that means changing our laws to deal with addiction as a health problem. Sure - go after the dealers - no issues there since they are criminals. But the addicts need to be treated and actively monitored through intervention for multiple years. It is expensive now, but it will be more expensive in the future, particularly when you have broken down families, people killed, property damaged or stolen, and a society in decline. Choose your medicine.

  • Scrooge
    December 20, 2012 - 07:57

    Let the gov't hold a bake sale and car wash. That's what they seem to expect Islanders to do whenever extra funding is needed for things that our tax dollars SHOULD be used for. Perhaps they could have a big bake sale to raise money for this party in 2014. It would give them a good idea how many people actually WANT this party. Islanders are generous and wiling to help out when people are in need and this government is BANKING on that. They probably have an account for it in their budget. Account# 21115-Bake Sales where they enter things like sick children, the environment, hungry or cold people, and anything pertaining to teenagers.

  • don
    December 20, 2012 - 07:48

    WENDY GRANT. They found the money for a replacement to Jack Frost? And a few more roundabouts. But nothing for the kids who will be voting in a few years in both elections on PEI. But with the police at grey school we wonder is that the only school on PEI? Or is it the worked for drugs? But when we have killings at the school on PEI and if you all think it will not happen then tell me was the killing of all the people in Que a fake? Or the killing of all those kids a fake? And if you think that kids on PEI can’t get guns then you are really in the Stone Age. And what are our governments on the island doing NOTHING. So when this happens what and who will our governments blame? JOE MARTELL as i have ask before is Colonel Gray the only school on PEI that has booze and drug trouble? Or who's family has the pull to protect that school? And is the kids at other schools not as important as greys?

  • He's absolutely right
    December 20, 2012 - 07:46

    This constable is absolutely right I know I'm a parent of a student who went to this school . His problem started in junior high queen Charlotte . He is an adult know . It was is devastating I would only pray that this project continues . It was not at the school when he was there if it was he may have had a chance . So if you think that drugs are not a problem at this school you are so very wrong . Not only did drugs affect my child . In turn it affected a lot of things personally socially academically and financially and emotionally . It is a living hell and it does not discriminate what kind of parent of family .

  • susan
    December 20, 2012 - 07:44

    I think there could be an easy fix to this problem ...we have a police academy...we have a correctional officer program through holland College and many out of work grads,how about the Government approch Holland College and set up a program where the placement of this qualifyed officers ,or soon to be officers be a presence at all of our Island schools.(funding share through unemployment and city perhaps) ..We are very fortunate to have these schools on the Island ..let us use them ... .

    • susan Dixon
      December 20, 2012 - 08:25

      I can see that we are still in the name calling ...blame stage of this conversation...so when we get to the solutions stage ....my comment will be valid..Who will be the first City Counselor or MLA to run with this idea ...you will have my vote!

  • Quiet Observer
    December 20, 2012 - 07:32

    I get amazed at all the articles that say kids get their pills from their parents prescriptions or whatever. This is rediculous. Kids buy their pills from the same people they buy their grass or hash from. Pills come on to PEI by the bike gang through Moncton. Hundreads of pills come in at a time. If they want to curb the pill availability, focus on the real problem - how are these huge bags of pills coming out of the pharmaceutical companies untraced? Go right back to the manufacturer and start the investigation there. To think the hundreds, no, thousands of kids out there on these pills are all taking them from their parents is having your head stuck in the sand. Also, funding CG's police presence means they have to do the same for every high school and junior high school on the Island, so it is not just a matter of $30,000, it is well over $500,000. I agree it is a good program, but a better plan for Island wide adoption of it must be put in place.

  • anne smith
    December 20, 2012 - 07:22

    please help me to understand! does police officer keizer not receive a paycheck from the city,or whoever pays his salary.this is what i do not understand why is there more money needed to fund him(keizer) to do the job,he is already getting paid from the city or should that be taxpayers. if keizer wants to be taken off his duties as (whatever they may be)a policeman and work the school instead what is the problem,let him sit in an office,get his pay from the city,and help the kids who are causing problems,especially if they(school) are seeing a difference...

  • flo
    December 20, 2012 - 07:19

    It is very sad when the city cannnot find the money to keep this policeman at the school.It is evident from what he says there is a problem. Maybe one of our members could give up the new car they drive . That would pay for Keizer to stay at the school .What a mixed up place we live in.Sad just sad.

  • PHARM Parties aren't fake
    December 20, 2012 - 07:19

    You can cite all the gossip you want. I've been to a PHARM party before. Your attitude that they don't exist is poppy-cock. You sound like the kind of parent that doesn't believe their child has experimented with anything yet.

  • Bob Macdonald
    December 20, 2012 - 07:10

    I don't know much but I know 40% taking drugs on a daily basis certainly can't be true. sounds like a bit of fear mongering to get the funding. I would have thought better from our police officers. Doesn't really set a very good example to kids telling stories like that.

    • sorry
      December 20, 2012 - 08:38

      Maybe not daily, but weekly for sure. The amount of kids that smoke, drink, and rave is astounding. I'm a young guy and work with a lot of older people who have kids my age. They clueless that little Timmy is whacked and drunk 2/3 nights a week, and baked everyday.

  • Michael Gilbert
    December 20, 2012 - 06:58

    I feel the importance of a police presence at the school is so vital today to help our kids and the community . We have an Island of people that care , If our powers at hand can't see how important this issue is, and come up with the necessary funds , then let us put our hands in our pockets as a community and raise the much needed funds to continue this program.I for one ,even though my kids are grown up and living off island would be Happy to support this issue!!

  • voter
    December 20, 2012 - 06:55

    get rid of 15 or so of the politicians who are feeding off the taxpayer and put the money to good use -- there is a good poll to conduct -- "what do we need more A- POLICE AT SCHOOLS or B - POLITICIANS UP THE YING YANG

  • Dawn
    December 20, 2012 - 06:41

    I'm thinking once a child is an adult at 18, they shouldn't be allowed back in the school system if they do not have there diploma by then , they should get there Ged's at holland college instead allowing them in the school system till they are 20 is ridiculous , I have a ten year old , and when they get to high school it will be bad enough , in grade 10 they will be 15-16 , I really wouldn't want my child to have or for a nineteen year old have access to my child or my child to them .

    • christina
      December 20, 2012 - 11:21

      Thats ridiculous because the year your in grade 12 most turn 18 if there birthday is before school ends that year. I was 18 when I graduated, So your basically saying that the students should leave the high school when they turn 18 that's pathetic. Your acting like a 19 year old is dangerous thats a laugh. Just because a person can buy alcohol doesn't make them dangerous. Plus a 16 year old can easily get alcohol out of there parents cupboard and were mostly talking about drugs here not alcohol.

    • I'm thinking almost the opposite.
      December 20, 2012 - 11:43

      I'm thinking almost the opposite. I say allow adults that want to learn back into the high school setting. Too many young people don't know what a person who really wants to learn looks like. If we allowed a select group of older adults back into the classroom, they could provide a model of learning for both young students and teachers.

  • Joe Smith
    December 20, 2012 - 06:23

    City of Charlottetown is mandated to Police Charlottetown. Maybe Clifford should go a little easier on the flowers and the number of votes he hires for seasonal work. Seems to me this officer is assuming the role of guidance counselor, for all the dope dealing and assaults there is no mentioned is anyone has been arrested...strange.

  • Bettydowntheroad
    December 20, 2012 - 06:14

    My heavens! Not on my quiet gentle little island, I just don't believe it! I'll go close my curtains and head back to bed.

  • Taxpayer
    December 20, 2012 - 06:13

    Think those cops should be on the street doing the job they are paid to do. Not babysitting at school. Do something about the drugs on the street. More drug traffic in Hillsborough Dev. than anything else . Any cop with one eye wouldn`t have trouble seeing that if the ever did a patrol !!

  • Just wondering
    December 20, 2012 - 06:11

    Is there not a guidance counsellor in that school? Isn't most of this the job of a guidance counsellor? What is he or she doing if the kids are all seeking help from the police officer??? Personally I would rather see an extra counsellor or an addictions program set up, if the problem is really that bad, rather than put that money toward policing. A police officer is not trained to deal with these kind of issues and let's face it, the kids can not be charged under the law if they are using their parents pills...so the police officer's hands are tied.

  • Concerned Mom
    December 20, 2012 - 06:07

    This is not a luxury for this school but a necessity! A police officer should be in all Island High Schools not just Colonel Gray! This whole issue is a police matter as well as an education issue. I believe the bill should be spilt down the middle between the education department and the police services. As other have spoken before me yes the Gov't has and will continue to waste our tax dollars on other things less important......Come on people with the power of our money spend it where we believe and want it to be spend!!!! ON THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN

  • Parent
    December 20, 2012 - 05:07

    To peifreebird and always an issue. Maybe both of you should put your heads back in the sand. Tim Keizer has no so called cushy job, he does more in one day at the school then what most of the patrolling officers do in a 12 hr shift. He's been an inspiration and mentor to a lot of students. As for it being a parents fault for not god parenting....u obviously do not have a child in this last decade.

  • Kaodake
    December 20, 2012 - 00:01

    Gee... Didn't the province spend $250 000 in legal expenses to keep the names of PNP recipients secret? Now they say they can't afford $30 000 to keep a cop where he seems to be badly needed. Somebody has their priorities wrong. Or maybe Tim Keizer is not a Liberal...

  • Adam
    December 19, 2012 - 23:32

    They need to find the funding for this program. The government is about to spend millions on a party for 2014 but they can't find 30,000 to help protect the youth of the community. This is absolutely ridiculous. The government on this Island makes me sick to my stomach.

    December 19, 2012 - 23:22


  • don
    December 19, 2012 - 23:21

    the government can not find the money to maybe save a child. but they found the money to buy 2 new cars. tells you where there PRIORITY'S are.but just think the kids they will not find the money for are voters come the next election.

  • FromAway
    December 19, 2012 - 23:21

    Unnecessary highway in Bonshaw - $30 000 000 Necessary policeman in high school - $30 000 "We can't find the funding."

  • Joe Martell
    December 19, 2012 - 23:04

    I'm told it costs about $60K a year to keep Cynthia King in her plum job at 'Forever Anne'. Government could do the obvious, but we know that won't happen. So this sets up a good example of how the Ghiz government sets priorities. It appears as though 'Forever Anne' trumps drug and alcohol abuse, assaults and bullying at Colonel Gray 'High' School. Not only jobs for defeated MLAs, but also multi-million dollar parties, multi-million dollar hills, and multi-million dollar hotels…all very expensive frivolities but still...no money to keep our youth away from drugs. Therein lays the Ghiz government's priorities. Are theirs aligned with yours?

    • Patronage, Pavement then People
      December 20, 2012 - 06:25

      You're right. Add that they are more than willing to pay a security company well over $100 000 for stupid security for their beloved Plan B scam and that sheds light on the priorities. Patronage, Pavement then People . . . in that order. I used to think Vessey was just one loose cannon, now it's clear that he represents the value system of the entire government.

  • Anon
    December 19, 2012 - 23:01

    I graduated from CG last year and I can tell you that 40% is a very low figure. From my experiences it is probably at 80% for those who have tried drugs if not higher. It is what us teenagers do. This is a very boring province to most. It makes sense why there is such rampant substance use. Of course some of it turns into abuse and that is the problem. It would be benificial for the school to keep Keizer. I am sure the government can spare 30 thousand dollars. They waste enough money, at least this investment can benifit the future of the province.

    • Patrick
      December 20, 2012 - 00:42

      Play a sport, start a hobby club, play an instrument/form a band, volunteer at a seniors residence put down your effing smartphone and TALK to someone, but don't tell me PEI is boring. It's as boring as you let it be.

    • Anonn
      December 20, 2012 - 08:28

      To Patrick. I agree with OP because I went to three oaks and I went to KRHS and both schools had drug problems. I had a job, played sports, and volunteered and I know plenty of people that did it just to do it and they were doing as much as me. Saying we need to put down our smart phone and talk to someone is such a stupid comment, how do you think we got drugs? 40% is an extremely low number for ALL schools across pei. Even with KRHS is a small school I would say close to 80% have either tried drugs or have done them on a regular basis, and TOSH is the same. Whoever says drugs isn't a problem on PEI has their eyes closed. Teenagers will be teenagers whether it happens in school or on the streets. It does have to be address but trying to point the finger isn't going to do anything.

    • Anonymous
      December 20, 2012 - 08:42

      To Patrick, OP is right, 40% is extremely low and 80% is more like it. I went to KRHS and TOSH and both are running retarded with Drugs. Telling us to put down our smartphone and talk to someone is such an ignorant comment, I agree with Anon, PEI is extremely boring. When I was in High school (I graduated two years ago) I had a job, was in a few clubs, played hockey during the winter and baseball in the summer, and I'd volenteer a few times a month in different places and I STILL HAD TIME TO PARTY AND BUY DRUGS. I know I am not the only person and I'm not ashamed to admit it. In my experience there is A LOT of teenagers who you may not think they do drugs but I guaratee you they do/have. Having eyes closed and saying "My kid would never do this". But do you really know what your kids are doing when they go 'Out to a friends house'? Just food for thought

    • LA
      December 20, 2012 - 12:55

      Frankly, there's nothing to do anywhere else either if you're not looking for it. What exactly do you think kids in Toronto do? Stay away from drugs because there's a bigger mall and a museum? It has nothing to do with where you live.

    • ANON
      December 20, 2012 - 21:06

      To Pat: I played sports in and out of school, I was in the band, I have many hobbies, I was in student council. and I was strong academically. Don't be bitter about me saying something about the province when it is what it is: a boring place.

  • Priorities
    December 19, 2012 - 22:54

    Thirty thousand is a small fraction of the cost of one roundabout. And given the extent of the problem and the fact that this program has seen some success, I'd say keep it going.

  • just an idea
    December 19, 2012 - 22:52

    Years ago Summerside High had Roger Caron come and speak of his life of crime, and his years in the Pen. It was a message that affected kids. It made a distinct message. He told it as it was, the ugliness of the consequences of a life of crime. He did not hold back. I never will forget it. Maybe an approach worth looking into is to have people who have beaten addiction and faced adversity because of addictions do presentations at schools. For kids to actually hear it firsthand in a frank manner is something that may strike a chord.

    • This is being done
      December 20, 2012 - 06:12

      Tim Keizer started a program just like that this year. He had young people and others who experienced addiction first hand speak to Grade 9 students. It was raw and truthful and the students loved it.

  • always an issue
    December 19, 2012 - 22:29

    There is aculture of addiction on PEI...this is not surprising at all......and it passes from generation to gereration............parents in most parts are enablers and not strict enough..and afraid to deal with issues up front and in their face......not making their children accountable

  • peifreebird
    December 19, 2012 - 22:20

    I would think this would be a pretty sweet gig for a police officert. 9am to 3:30 Monday to Friday, patrolling the school parking lot with. Funny how we are only hearing about this "rampant drug problem now from Const. Keizer ...nothing to do with his cushy job ending i'm sure.

    • You are wrong
      December 20, 2012 - 06:19

      Tim has actually been talking about this problem publicly for a while now. He spoke about it at Meet the Teacher night in September; he spoke about it at the parent information night in November; and he speaks about it with anyone he is having a conversation with. Before his time at Colonel Gray, he was speaking about the drug problem in Charlottetown and the rest of the Island (and still does!). Have you ever had a conversation with him? He is someone who truly cares and is not afraid to tell it like it is so that people will start paying attention and changes be made! As far as the 9 to 3:30 hours, that is also wrong.

    • LA
      December 20, 2012 - 12:40

      Nice attempt to bash him, but he's not lying. You can be "sure" if you want but it doesn't mean you actually know. You do not.

    December 19, 2012 - 22:02


  • Pharm Parties Are Fake
    December 19, 2012 - 21:50

    There is no empirical evidence to suggest that the "pharm party" as it is called is real. People have been taking pills at parties since the 60's, let's be honest. But the idea that people would throw random pills into a bowl and chow down like it's party-mix is just that... an IDEA. Taken from Wikipedia: "In June 2006, Slate editor Jack Shafer traced reports of teen "pharming parties" back to their source and concluded that there was little evidence indicating that such a phenomenon is popular, growing, or even real." There simply is no evidence of this trend's existence; people only take drugs that they know will actually work and they usually know how to take them properly. So rest assured, no teens are going to OD on Zantac and Tylenol. Kidding and criticism aside there is definitely a pandemic of pill use, specifically opiate use, bigger than PEI has seen before. The 60's are over, psychedelics and marijuana aren't enough for the kids now, so therefore opiates seem to have come back into style. If safer drugs like marijuana were legal maybe things would be different.

  • SAP
    December 19, 2012 - 21:50

    But, on the bright side, our ministers don't have to drive old cars. Priorities.