School district 79 is investigating after media requests about “safer snorting” kits being handed out to kids at school.
On Saturday evening independent journalist Aaron Gunn announced on Twitter it was reported to him middle school kids at a Cowichan Valley school were given these kits at the school.
The Tweet also included a picture of the kits.
“When I was in high school, we heard from powerful guest speakers on why doing hard drugs had very serious (and potentially deadly) consequences.” Gunn started his Tweet.
“Today in British Columbia, (and, in this specific case, a high school in the Cowichan Valley) they are handing out “safer snorting” kits to children as young as 15…”
Saturday night BC Rise sent school district 79 a media inquiry email asking about the legitimacy of the allegations of the “safer snorting” kits being given to school children along with a series of other questions.
The school district did not respond to BC Rise’s media request, instead the school district posted a response on its Twitter account.
“We were recently made aware of materials that were left at one of our school sites from a third-party harm reduction and drug addiction presentation that we do not consider school or age appropriate.” school district 79 tweeted.
The images shared by Gunn appear to show the kits coming with a booklet by the Canadian Aids Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE).
“This booklet has information about how to snort drugs safely and reduce harms.” the booklet says on the first page according to information on the publisher’s website.
The booklet covers topics such as “the basics of safer drug snorting, nose care and prevention of hepatitis C infections,”
“The best way to prevent harms when snorting is to use your own equipment and not share with others,” reads the booklet’s description, which is found online here.
“There are many ways drugs are snorted. You might use straws, rolled paper, glass or metal tubes, or you may snort your drugs straight from your hand or a hard surface,” it says.
On the second to last page of the booklet it credits the contributions of the material to the Ontario Ministry of Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
“Production of this publication has been made possible in part through financial contributions from the Ontario Ministry of Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)”
Cowichan Valley School District says that it supports “harm reduction as a well-researched” method to address the provinces ongoing opioid crisis and conversations around drugs and drug addiction and aim for material that is appropriate for students.
“Materials left by this third party did not meet this threshold, and for that we apologize to our community.”