On behalf of the Superintendent, please be advised that the School Board has unanimously approved a new tougher anti-vaping policy for next school year.
While CCSD’s student discipline code already prohibits the possession or use of vaping devices and oils anywhere on campus, this new policy (click here to read) adds more serious repercussions.
This decision was prompted by the rising number of students not only using these devices at school to inhale nicotine, but also marijuana-based CBD and THC oil and other oils with dangerous contents that often are unknown to the student due to lack of regulation of these products. Students are becoming ill, overdosing, having seizures, passing out and requiring 911 response and hospitalization due to vaping. Students are encouraging classmates to try their devices at school and are using devices in shared spaces such as restrooms… further expanding the number of students negatively impacted by vaping.
Under our new School Board Attorney-developed and School Board-approved anti-vaping policy, any students found with vaping devices or oil will be treated as if they are in possession of felony-level marijuana CBD and THC oil. Punishments will include immediate external suspension from school, long-term reassignment to an alternative school and possible expulsion.
Students must prove that their devices and oils do not contain marijuana-derived CBD and THC oil in order to avoid the most serious punishments, but even if that is proved, students still will face discipline for possessing nicotine-based or other vaping products (if you are not aware, these products are not legal for children younger than 18 to purchase or possess anywhere in Georgia).
The School Board and Superintendent agree there are many other negative issues that impact students, from bullying to academic stress to economic struggles, and all of those are a priority and addressed through different policies and practices. Of note, the proposed budget for next school year includes the hiring of the District’s first two mental health counselors, who will serve districtwide to support school counselors, nurses, social workers and psychologists in their ongoing efforts to aid students in crisis.
Vaping is a new and serious threat to our students that is not yet on the radar of all parents. We need you to join us in helping protect the health of students by talking with your children about the dangers of vaping.
Information about this new discipline code policy is being shared with all middle and high school students during school today by their Principal, and that message is online here. Here is a link to a CCSD factsheet, and here is a guide from the U.S. Surgeon General with tips on how to talk with your child. If your child already is vaping and may be addicted to nicotine or THC, please seek assistance for them. For free help, visit smokefree.gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.