Schools Get Aggressive To Combat Teen Vaping
As you’re probably well aware, teenage vaping has become a major issue across the U.S. The new trend has become particularly popular at public high schools, where kids from 9th through 12th grade use campus facilities to inhale nicotine and other addictive substances. To help combat this growing trend, several local administrators are planning to implement random testing once classes resume in the fall.
Nebraska-based Fairbury High School is one of the first to publicly tout the new movement. Stephen Grizzle, the Superintendent of that region, was recently quoted on The Fix website, outlining his plan to limit the use of e-cigarettes on his campuses.
“Vaping and e-cigarette use among teens has become a widespread epidemic,” Grizzle explained. “What we want to do with this new plan is take a preventive, proactive measure. We are not wanting to punish kids. We are wanting to give them a reason to say no.”
The measure itself would include random nicotine testing, that would occur in classrooms. Students would be selected at random and brought to the school nurse’s office, where tests would be administered. Lockers may also be subject to searches, in order to see who’s using and distributing the products.
As Grizzle explained, enforcement and consequences would follow. If a random student were shown to test positive for nicotine use, they would be suspended from participating in all extracurricular activities (such as sports) for up to two weeks. They would also be subject to further tests and harsher sentences would come down for second and third offenses.
Fairbury, in particular, has been put under statewide scrutiny for its vaping incidents. The amount of its students disciplined for using e-cigarettes on campus has more than tripled over the past year.
One other ambitious measure that may be in the works for Fairbury High includes Wi-Fi enabled sensors in all campus restrooms. This tech would potentially alert school officials if vapor fumes or “sounds associated with smoking” were picked up within those areas.
Of course, teen vaping extends far beyond the reaches of Nebraska. This problem is nationwide (and quite common in our home state of California). It is important for all parents to know that e-cigarettes are addictive and could lead to serious health issues for any young person who regularly uses them (just as regular nicotine cigarettes do).
If you or someone you are close to is regularly vaping (or has a child that is regularly vaping), please get in contact and seek out help.