Recent investigations into illegal drug activity at Glacier High School have led to the arrests of seven youths.
School Resource Officer Jason Parce of the Kalispell Police Department said the investigations took place on Dec. 6, 7, 11 and 12.
As a result, one youth was arrested for drug possession, two were arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia and four were arrested for criminal distribution of drugs on or near school property.
The youths — ages 14 and 15 — are all Glacier High School students. All seven were arrested on school grounds and have been disciplined in accordance with School District 5 policy.
“Two of the incidents started based upon theft reports from students, and once we delved into those investigations, the crimes — one of possession of paraphernalia and one of distribution — emerged out of that,” Parce said. “The other ones were basically reports that the school and the KPD received from students, faculty and parents.”
Glacier High School Principal Callie Langohr reached out to parents Wednesday morning to remind them that illegal drug activity of any kind is not tolerated at the school.
“Whenever Glacier High School is in the spotlight for drug busts, we sometimes hear reactions from the public such as ‘Glacier must have a huge drug problem,’” Langohr wrote.
“Quite the contrary! Our school mirrors what is going on in our society and in other large high schools. The difference is that we have a Glacier community consisting of students, parents and staff that are willing to be proactive in helping administrators and the police department tackle the illegal drug activity.”
Parce echoed Langohr’s sentiments, saying the relationships between the police department, the schools, the students and the community have been positive and that people are beginning to act much more proactively in situations such as the drug investigations.
He said the openness of those relationships has made it much easier for people to make reports of criminal activity in the schools.
“We need to do everything we can to foster a healthy and safe educational environment,” Parce said. “Really, the purpose of the school resource officer is to try to maintain that. That’s essentially what our duties are here and why the school has no tolerance for drugs.”
“Schools know, law enforcement knows that in today’s world, life is hard enough out there in the community and society, and if these kids are introducing drugs into their everyday life, life is going to be so much harder for them than it already is.”
Parce said whether or not the arresting charges are supported and continued or dropped to a different level is up to the Flathead County Attorney’s office.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the office had not yet received the cases and no formal charges have been filed.
Reporter Jesse Davis may be reached at 758-4441 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.