Similar to other area schools, we have started to hear about incidents involving student vaping. Complicating this issue is that there is varying information and misunderstandings involving vaping and/or electronic cigarettes. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the issue, give you resources if you feel your student is involved in this kind of behavior, as well as alert you to repercussions if your child engages in vaping on school property. We take this issue very seriously due to the negative health effects vaping can have on our students and often find that parents are often not aware of the risks around vaping and what the devices may look like. We are currently working on setting up an informational night at the high school for parents to attend.
Vaporizers/e-cigarettes come in all different shapes. Some common styles our administration has seen look like a thick pen, a stylus for a iPad, a flash drive, or a small flask with a round chimney coming off the top. The devices are very small and can easily be hidden on a person or blend in with normal backpack items. The nicotine juices for these items are often fruit flavored and come in a pod. Other area schools are seeing new pods with marijuana (THC) and are tinted green. Like cigarettes, stores cannot sell vaping items to people under the age of 18. However, students report that they purchase the devices online or buy from older siblings, friends, or unfortunately even parents. When students vape in school bathrooms it can be due to an addiction to nicotine they have developed, a peer pressure issue, or they are simply curious and want to try it out. In any case, spending excessive time out of class is heavily correlated to lower grades and understanding of material. Vaping in school or being in possession of a vape results in an out of school suspension for the student.
The Surgeon General reports that nicotine is addictive and can harm brain development, which continues until about age 25. We know that using nicotine may make it harder for school related tasks such as learning and concentration. In conversations with students, it appears that many are not aware of the harmful effects of vaping. Students either say they use nicotine-free liquid or that it is safer than tobacco cigarettes.
We hope you find this letter informative and understand our concerns about this potentially harmful issue. Our goal is to partner with parents to help support our students in making positive decisions for themselves and the high school community. We encourage you to have a conversation with your child(ren) about this topic. As we learn more, we will certainly share that information. Thank you for your continued support of our school system.
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