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Drug Free School Zone signs coming to Zoe Barnum

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EUREKA - After a neighborhood complaint was brought before News Channel Three about the lack of Drug Free School Zone signs in one Eureka community; we investigated. Now those signs will be coming to Zoe Barnum School.

Concerned residents in a Eureka neighborhood by Zoe Barnum School wondered, Why aren't there any “Drug Free School Zone” signs?

Superintendent of Eureka city schools, Fred Van Vleck said, “Specifically when you talk about the Zoe Barnum campus, that campus was closed for number of years and the campus just reopened last year and I would say, that not having the signs there, was probably because all the signs were posted during a period of time when the Zoe Barnum campus was closed.” 

Residents declined interviews out of fear for their well-being. They claim, drug activity is prevalent in the area by the school and the signs might be a deterrent. 

“Well I think it's vital that the signs are posted around the schools. One it makes people aware that there is a law and enhancements that do exist if you want to do drugs or manufacture drugs within 1000 feet of a school in California, and two it just makes people more aware. Makes the children more aware, that's it not going to be tolerated and keeps them alert to what’s going on in their neighborhood,” said Captain Brian Stephens from the Eureka Police Department.

“It certainly doesn't hurt to advertise that it's a school area, fines are enhanced in those areas and anything that we can do to deter the activity, is a good thing. That's why I'm 100 percent behind making sure those signs are up," said, Van Vleck.

A local resident did find one, Drug Free School Zone sign near Zoe Barnum. But it's on the back of this traffic sign, completely hidden and inconspicuous. After investigating and contacting Eureka City Schools, new signs for Zoe Barnum are in the works.

Van Vleck said, “One of the things that's interesting about that, is that it's never been brought to my attention, until you brought it to my attention that the signs weren't there and since then, I've made a couple of phone calls and we're in the process of getting those signs up as quickly as we can."