Community

New Albany School District Approves New Vaping Policy

The New Albany School Board approved the adoption of a vaping policy at the December 5 school board meeting.  

Recognizing that vaping is a local and national health concern, the school district is taking additional steps to educate students and their families about the detriments of e-cigarette use and vaping.

“It is important to note that the full long-term health consequences of e-cigarettes are unknown; however, sufficient evidence exists to caution against the use of these devices,” said New Albany School District’s Health Services Coordinator Tammie Reeder, BSN, RN, NCSN.

The approved vaping policy states: “Electronic cigarettes have recently surpassed conventional cigarettes as the most commonly used tobacco product among youth.  The New Albany Board of Education recognizes that the use of electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices, or any tobacco products, is detrimental to the health and safety of students, staff and visitors and is therefore prohibited at all times.”

This policy applies to all students, school staff, parents, and any visitors while on school grounds, in school buildings and facilities, in any school bus, on school property, or at school-related activities or school-sponsored events which includes, but is not limited to, athletic events.  

It is specifically important to note that with the approval of this policy there are significant changes to the discipline policy.  Anyone found in violation of this policy shall be disciplined according to the following policy guidelines:

Vaping – Disciplinary Action for Grades 6-12:

First Offense:  5 days placement at NASTUC (Alternative School)

Second Offense:  10 days placement at NASTUC (Alternative School)

Third Offense:  Disciplinary Hearing

Vaping – Disciplinary Action for Grades K-5:

First Offense:  up to 5 days placement at NASTUC (Alternative School)

Second Offense:  up to 10 days placement at NASTUC (Alternative School)

Third Offense:  Disciplinary Hearing

The use of e-cigarettes, especially by young people, has continued to rise since 2010.  These e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm brain development.  Poisonings and deaths have occurred from exposure to liquid nicotine.

E-cigarettes are becoming the first form of nicotine use for middle-school and high-school aged students.  The advertising of e-cigarettes has been very appealing to youth. 

“Health education is imperative in understanding the true immediate as well as lifelong health risks and dangers associated with nicotine exposure, especially through vaping,” Reeder said.   Besides the classroom education shared by the district’s school nurses, students who are referred by school administration for use/possession of tobacco/vaping apparatus already receive individual or small group education and counseling from our school nurses. This education effort will continue and actually strengthen as more research-based information is obtained. 

“Our goal is not only that New Albany students succeed academically in life, but also that they learn how to be responsible for their own health and well-being. We believe health education is a huge part of empowering them to do just that,” Reeder added.

“As educators, we are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all of our students,” said Dr. Lance Evans, Superintendent of New Albany Schools.  “We want our students to continue to grow as learners and be equipped with the health education and knowledge so they can make good choices.”


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