N.S. police arrest 22 students at Amherst school
Nova Scotia police arrested 22 students at the Amherst Regional High School on Friday and seized a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
The Cumberland Integrated Street Crime Unit, which is comprised of police officers from the Amherst Police Department, Springhill Police Department and Cumberland RCMP, announced the arrests on Saturday.
In a statement, police said the arrests came after members of the community were concerned that some students at the high school were using drugs in the parking lot.
Police investigated the allegations on Friday and detained 22 students at the high school, which is in northern Nova Scotia near the New Brunswick border.
The police say the drug investigation is continuing and a decision on charges will be made after the probe is wrapped up.
The Chignecto Central Regional School Board and Amherst Regional School are assisting the police with the investigation, according to the police.
On Friday, the school administration contacted the parents of students who were involved in the investigation.
School officials co-operated
"We appreciate the professionalism the police showed while interviewing the students involved," Carolyn Pierce, communications manager for the school board, said in the police statement.
"We will continue to work with the police throughout the investigation and going forward."
Pierce said about a dozen officers brought the students into a room, searched them and made the arrests there.
Pierce said the complaint about marijuana smoking did not come from the school district and staff were not advised about the raid in advance.
The students were also interviewed by the high school staff and 13 of the 22 arrested have been suspended.
Amherst Mayor Robert Small said he just found out about the arrests on Saturday and he's glad the police and the school are taking the issue of drugs seriously.
"I think what it is, is a reflection on schools everywhere. And that it is being addressed here is the right thing to do," he said.
"You can't hide behind those issues so if they are addressing it and dealing with community concerns that's the right thing to do. Especially at school ages, that's the time to deal with those issues."