November 14, 2018
As many of you know, teen “vaping” has steadily increased on a local and national level. Many of our students are definitely curious about the process, and we have noted a marked increase in the possession of e-cigarette equipment and cartridges on the Livermore High School campus in the last month.
Students, in many cases, seem to feel that the use of a JUUL vaporizer or similar e-cigarette devices is “not smoking” and definitely not unhealthy or addictive. Sadly, that is not the case. I have inserted a link from a recent educational journal for you as a “quick read”. It is not extensive, but it gives you some basic information and the opinion of one of many professionals who are speaking out on the subject.
In addition to this, below is a link with information from the FDA on the matter.
I strongly encourage you to continue to research the subject from additional sources.
We have reached out to our district office and are working with them to coordinate parent nights with local agencies to provide informational seminars for families at both high schools. I will definitely provide you the dates and times as soon as we organize the presentations.
In the interim, we at LHS are developing a multi-pronged “attack” on the vaping issue. Students need information on the dangers of vaping, as well as clear consequences for use on the LHS campus. The following is a summary of the information we are providing to all students via in- class presentations, announcements and all-school bulletins:
• Vaping is considered a tobacco-like product, and will be treated as such under the Ed Code and related Board Policy. Possession or use of vapes is prohibited at LHS without exception.
• All vaping related items found during a process of reasonable search will be confiscated and parents will be notified immediately.
• Diversion to TUPE (Tobacco Use Prevention Education) mandated sessions (on site or through Horizons) will be mandated for students on a first offense. A second offense will result in suspension from school from three to five days.
• Use of tobacco and/or vaping is illegal for all minors. Use of vape devices to vape THC-filled wax concentrate or oil will result in immediate suspension from school and a referral to a school-sanctioned agency on a first offense. Possession of wax concentrate and related items will also result in suspension as outlined, and will be defined as use/possession of marijuana.
• Exclusion from school activities and extracurricular groups including, but not limited to athletics, band, clubs, and other student organizations will occur.
We have developed programs to educate students on the dangers as outlined, and have reached out to our student leaders to also become involved in these presentations. Campus supervisors and administrators have increased surveillance in restrooms and other secluded campus areas. The district has provided support in the addition/installation of multiple cameras throughout the campus and designated areas. We continue the on-going process of training our staff to recognize the use of vapes and JUULs on our campus. These procedures as outlined have been in place for several months, and the information and counseling avenues were created in the first few weeks of school. I feel it is necessary to let all of our families know the “inner workings” of our approach, as sometimes our silence leads to a belief that we are ignoring the problem. This is definitely not the case. Second offenses for vaping and first offense THC use have been dealt with harshly without exception.
I firmly believe that it does “take a village” to raise and educate our children. It is not our desire to supplant family beliefs, however, the sudden “epidemic” around this new substance use and abuse is alarming and calls for a firm, consistent and immediate response. Thank you for your support!
I appreciate your cooperation, and am anxious to provide you with updates on our anti-vaping program. Your suggestions and input are always appreciated.