Vapers headed to court, pay fines

The administration knows what some students are hiding in their pockets.

Mrs. Karen Busch, assistant principal, sent out an email asking teachers to limit bathroom passes because of suspicious activity happening in the restrooms.

“We have noticed that there are a certain number of kids that seem to go to the bathroom every day every period. What we have also seen is that some stay in there for a very long time, and some go in and out. I decided to send out an email saying start being aware of who you are sending to the restroom, I didn’t say they couldn’t go; I just said to limit the number of bathroom passes,” Mrs. Busch said.

In the bathrooms, students are using juuls and vapes and sometimes selling the devices as well.

“The amount of juuls I am getting is ridiculous. Now, they are selling other things in the restroom. How do we catch that? The restroom is a private place to be. I don’t have cameras in there; kids know that,” she said.

For students under the age of 18, nicotine use is illegal.

“If it contains nicotine, it’s illegal. Any kind of possession of a device, a juul or anything similar to that, is illegal until your 18,” Officer Randy Eck, resource officer, said.

Juuling is a new fad embraced by the current generation of students.

“I have been in education for 35 years, so I’ve been here. At first it was cigarettes, so we could see the smoke, and we could see the butts. In the 80s, it was huge. Then, it stopped being the cigarettes in the bathroom; you just didn’t see it in our buildings. In the last three years, these vape and juuls have shown up. They are almost impossible to detect because they don’t have an odor,” Mrs. Busch said.

Because vaping and juuling are such new trends, it is hard to know what side effects could come out of them. Mr. Josh Harmon, school nurse, is very concerned about what kids could be doing to their bodies without realizing it.

“It hasn’t been out long enough to have long term studies. Without having long-term studies, no one knows what the effects are. I don’t think anyone should mess with the stuff until there are long-term studies done,” Mr. Harmon said.

Vaping might be worse than smoking cigarettes.

“Some of the research is saying that vaping is 10 times worse than cigarettes. One of those pods is like a pack of cigarettes; some of these kids go through two or three of those things a day. They are becoming very addicted,” Mrs. Busch said.

Another issue that comes up is whether students really know what they are purchasing when they buy from other students.

“People are buying them from people they don’t even know; they have no idea what’s in them. Is it nicotine? is it marijuana? Is it something else? They have no idea what they are buying,” Mrs. Busch said.

There are consequences when caught with a juul or vape at school. These consequences involve school discipline plus involvement with Greenwood police.

“You get a week’s detention, and you get a $150 fine. The second time you get a fine and OSS,” Mrs. Busch said.

Getting caught with nicotine devices will introduce students to court.

“I know a lot of kids are using them. What we do is we confiscate them, and you get a $150 ticket. Then, you have to go to court, talk to the judge about it, and the judge will often have you pay a fine and make you attend alcohol and tobacco classes,” Officer Eck said.

There are ways to get off nicotine.

“Talk to your provider (doctor); there are things they can do to wean you off. They are nicotine patches, there’s nicotine gum, and that way it’s regulated, and you are setting up a plan to wean yourself off,” Mr. Harmon said.

Stop using drugs and look to healthier alternatives to spend time and money.

“There’s no health benefit to doing it. It’s not going to make you stronger, faster, smarter, or increase your immune system. I just think about it like what am I going to do to build the best me. Smoking or doing any type of drug is not going to get you there,” Mr. Harmon said.


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