SASD implements a new vaping policy

Alanna Christman, Staff Writer

The vape is the new take on cigarettes. How is Stroudsburg High School administration coping with students vaping at school? The answer is a new vaping policy.

 This policy was approved at a school board meeting in November. The board policy states, “Possession of vaping equipment while under the jurisdiction of the School District will be penalized the same and to the same degree as possession of drug paraphernalia…”

“It’s [the new vaping policy] necessary because we’re finding more and more students that are bringing these items to school,” said principal Mr. Jeffrey Sodl. “I appreciate their [schools board’s] support in trying to create a positive school culture.”

Vaping is the use of an electronic cigarette or similar device to create and inhale/exhale a vapor. 

Photograph taken by Cassie Ophelt
Although it’s generally accepted that e-cigarettes are safer than smoking cigarettes, a growing body of research indicates that they in fact lead to negative health consequences.

Used for a high, it generates the feeling of smoking, even though it’s not the same. Vaping requires what’s commonly called “e-juice”. It includes propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, any added flavorings, and, most of the time, nicotine.

Since E-cigarettes have been provided in the United States since 2007, there isn’t much time given to view statistics on the long term effects of vaping. However, this doesn’t mean long term effects aren’t possible. Short term effects include addiction, mental ability affects, and possible lung issues.

“Nicotine is a highly addictive substance,” said social studies teacher Mr. Robert Morris. “

Even trying it just a few times could lead to addiction. Nicotine can cause problems with people’s moods, behavior, and cognitive functions”

— Mr. Robert Morris

.”

For cigarette users attempting to overcome addiction, vaping has been known to help. There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes compared to the four ingredients in E-cigarettes, but e-cigarettes are still not recommended to minors and/or people not already addicted to cigarettes.

The 227 policy on Controlled Substances/Paraphernalia includes the possible penalizations, “…shall be subject to discipline pursuant to the provisions and procedures outlined in the district’s discipline code up to and including expulsion and referral for prosecution. The board may require participation in drug counseling, rehabilitation, testing, or other programs as a condition of reinstatement into the school’s educational, extracurricular or athletic programs resulting from violations of this policy.”

Therefore, students may be penalized up to the degree of expulsion and referral for prosecution. There are other possible penalties listed in the Controlled Substances/Paraphernalia policy, such as drug counseling and rehabilitation.

I don’t believe students are seeing the dangers we see”

— Principal Mr. Jeffrey Sodl

“I don’t believe students are seeing the dangers we see,” said Sodl.

There are certain limits to this policy, including limiting its enforcement to school grounds and school activities.

The times and places students may be subject to punishments for vaping by the Stroudsburg School District include, stated in School Board policy 227, the time period when a student is going to, at, or coming from school or a school activity.

“I think that vaping can be a good thing for previous smokers,” said another anonymous student at SHS, “but school isn’t the place to be doing it.”

The policy prohibits possession of vaping equipment on school grounds, not just the use of it. To continue, students carrying vaping equipment to use off school grounds may be disciplined equally to the catch of using the equipment on district property.

An anonymous SHS student said, “I vape, but I keep it at home because I know that you can get in trouble at school.”

To view the Vaping Policy, click on the link here, go to “Policies”, and then go to the 200 Pupils category and scroll down for policy 227.1.

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