Currently, students caught with vaping devices for the first time are placed on level four in the list of disciplinary intervention levels, which consists of Saturday school, confiscation of said device and placement on a behavior contact. Punishment for such activity is most effective when it not only provides a harsh response to offenders, but also serves as a deterrent to those who trying vaping.
The transition to high school from middle school is a big change in the life of young teenagers, some of whom decide to start vaping as freshmen to be socially accepted as they believe that using drugs will make them “cool.” Thus, peer pressure is a significant cause of the vaping epidemic, compounded by teens’ common lack of knowledge about the health dangers associated with these devices. It is illegal for students to carry around or use vaping and its paraphernalia at any school campus, so students caught committing this crime should logically receive harsh consequences, and the argument can be made for students to even be reported to law enforcement or to have them meet the police member on campus. This would show students that committing this crime has real consequences and would serve as either a wake-up call to offenders or an effective deterrent to students considering vaping on campus; currently, this step is listed as optional for first offense.
Some schools have been pioneering a more innovative approach of assigning students to rehabilitation and counseling instead of just consequences in order to help students quit vaping instead of becoming continual offenders and educate the student population on why vaping is harmful as a preventative measure. The Conejo Valley Unified School District transitioned from suspensions to assigning students to four hour Saturday school sessions where students were taught the dangers and marketing of vaping for the first offense, and the second offense included a more intense counseling including parents in the process, as according to drugfree.org. Although such a program is costly and difficult to manage in comparison with what Dana currently has, it produces promising results and lowered the number of incidents and the suspensions given to students according to the district’s superintendent, Luis Lichtl. Although we already have a good system in place dealing with vaping at Dana, it could potentially benefit our school even more if we were to implement a more comprehensive system.
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