The Vernon School District has implemented new rules banning the use of vaping and e-cigarettes.
Director of student support services, Dr. Truman Spring, says use is growing exponentially, which is a health concern, and can lead to more young people smoking regular cigarettes.
“What happens here is they can add any kind of fluid they like, anything from marijuana to crack, and there’s a huge health component here that we’re trying to stem very quickly,” Spring tells Kiss FM.
He says the policy won’t just cover school property.
“It’s shared property which could mean parks, it could mean alleyways, basically the periphery of the school, the neighborhood of the school.”
The vaping device will be confiscated on a first offense, with the parents having to retrieve it from the school, and the student suspended up to 2 days.
The second time it will be confiscated, and parents will have get it from the RCMP detachment, along with a student suspension up to 5 days.
“The third offence will warrant a board suspension, with a panel of myself, Doug Rogers (substance abuse counsellor), the RCMP liaison officer, the alternate principal, and a secondary behaviour specialist involved, and we will take a look at what we’ll do. Most likely a drug prevention program will be part of that,” adds Spring.
The District’s substance abuse counsellor Doug Rogers says the new policy has legal ramifications, but he says it’s more about the health of students.
“We know that vaping is unhealthy so we have health concerns about that, but we also know that kids who vape are twice as likely to move onto tobacco cigarettes, so we want to keep that stuff away from schools,” Rogers tells Kiss FM.