Vaping activity forces district to take precautions

A+couple+of+juuls+Mrs.+Stafford+has+confiscated+from+students+caught+in+the+act.

Emily Strenski

A couple of juuls Mrs. Stafford has confiscated from students caught in the act.

Emily Strenski, Editor-in-chief

In light of an increase in vaping across campus, the district has started taking steps toward eliminating vaping completely from school grounds.

“I want Archer City High School/Junior High to be the first campus that totally rids itself of vaping and juuling,” high school principal Mandy Stafford said. “The entire school board is behind us on this one, and they’ve been on the lookout for anything and everything that could aid us in eliminating the problem.”

According to Mrs. Stafford, “purchases have been made” that will help alert    authority figures to people who are vaping in school. In addition to this, the Student Handbook states that searches of cars on school property are permissible on probable cause, something Mrs. Stafford plans to utilize.

If you feel that someone can get hurt, tell an adult and get it fixed. You could save their life.”

— High school principal Mandy Stafford

“We have the funding for purchases like the ones we’ve already made,” Mrs. Stafford said. “Addressing the car searches, if we even think you might possess a vape, we’re going to check your car.”

When a student gets caught, there tends to be consequences that follow, and she promises the repercussions to being caught vaping will be extreme.

“We’ll start you off with five days ISS on your first offense,” Mrs. Stafford explained. “If you’re caught a second time, you’ll receive 15 days ISS, and if you’re caught a third time then you’re put in AEP. We don’t want students like those around everyone else.”

Students have been  caught participating in the banned activity on school grounds, and each one of them has faced the punishments described above. One student in particular, however, experienced more than just a few days in ISS.

“It was extremely embarrassing for me,” a sophomore football player said. “I was taken out of a game, and a bunch of people in the stands would ask me why I wasn’t playing. It was pretty depressing having to tell them why.”

The sophomore said that the embarrassment alone was enough to solidify never vaping again.

“The worst part was having to tell my entire family what had happened as part of my punishment,” he said. “I decided right then that I would steer clear of that stuff.”

Vaping was originally marketed as a substitute for smoking, a way for smokers to get off cigarettes. However, because the drug is still relatively new, experts aren’t sure of what the effects of vaping are on the body.

“That’s what is so concerning to me,” nurse Sonja Oliver said. “There’s still so much that’s unknown about this substance.”

The liquid inside a vape, otherwise known as e-liquid, becomes heated via a battery and turns into aerosol. According to the Center on     Addiction, this vapor has been known to carry varying amounts of particles that have been linked to cancer. The vapor can also be problematic and sometimes fatal when concerning those who have lung diseases such as asthma, the organization said.

“I’ve had kids come in before with illnesses that I’ve believed to be vaping related,” Mrs. Oliver said. “Some have complained of breathing issues and other afflictions like those.”

Some of the cartridges of e-liquid can contain a highly concentrated form of nicotine, the addictive aspect of cigarettes. However, because of how concentrated it is, the amount of nicotine in one cartridge can mimic the effects of a whole pack of cigarettes.

“From what we know, some of these kids go through one cartridge in a couple of hours and then refill,” Mrs. Oliver said. “Do the math and that leaves students vaping three to four packs of cigarettes a day.”

Another type of drug cartridges can contain is THC, the drug that produces the mind-altering qualities of marijauna. The THC in vapes however are highly concentrated, making the effects stronger and more dangerous.

“Students don’t need to be putting that kind of crap into their bodies,” Mrs. Stafford said. “They’re too young to be vaping those extreme levels of negative drugs.”

Mrs. Stafford wants her students to know that she “loves and cares” for each and every one of her students, and she doesn’t want a student’s life to “end in a horrible way” because of vaping.

“If you see it, report it,” Mrs. Stafford said. “If you feel that someone can get hurt, tell an adult and get it fixed. You could save their life.”