The Warwick Valley School District is expanding measures to curb the use of vaping products among its students.
In addition to the installation of vaping sensors at the middle and high school buildings, school coalition teams are tightening collaboration with the Warwick Coalition to increase student and community awareness of vaping’s harmful health effects. They also are looking for help inside and outside school facilities.
As hundreds of people, including teens, continue to take ill from e-cigarettes across the United States, and several deaths have now been linked to vaping, state and federal agencies are taking action and public awareness is on the rise.
“Vaping is emerging as a health crisis and we all need to take responsibility for educating ourselves and others about the dangers of vaping products,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Leach said in the press release detailing the district's action. “We are asking parents and guardians to talk to their children and reinforce the same message at home: vaping is not safe.
"Vaping is a modern day cigarette, as addictive as cigarettes, and the chemical composition of vaping products is largely unknown and unregulated," Leach added. "Schools have struggled with this problem for too long now, but the time is right for coordinated action between schools and communities to educate our students and rid our learning spaces of vaping.”
As part of the district’s substance abuse prevention initiatives, students in grades seven, nine and 12 are surveyed annually. Survey results indicate that e-cigarettes are easily available and common among high school students.
At an upcoming work session of the Board of Education, district leaders will discuss this challenge and how to address it in the context of student health and safety.
"Schools have struggled with this problem for too long now, but the time is right for coordinated action between schools and communities to educate our students and rid our learning spaces of vaping.”
Warwick Valley Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Leach