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Vaping fad creates concern

Recent trends of “vaping” and “JUULing” have rapidly permeated teenage culture and taken adults by surprise

VAPING+SUPPLIES+CONFISCATED%3A+Administrators+have+collected+JUULs+and+other+vaping+supplies+from+students+after+noticing+an+increase+in+the+use+of+the+devices+in+November.++Although+there+is+no+legal+punishment+for+students+over+18%2C+tightened+protocol+was+necessary+to+limit+the+use+of+the+vaping+devices+in+the+hallways%2C+bathrooms+and+classrooms.
VAPING SUPPLIES CONFISCATED: Administrators have collected JUULs and other vaping supplies from students after noticing an increase in the use of the devices in November.  Although there is no legal punishment for students over 18, tightened protocol was necessary to limit the use of the vaping devices in the hallways, bathrooms and classrooms.

VAPING SUPPLIES CONFISCATED: Administrators have collected JUULs and other vaping supplies from students after noticing an increase in the use of the devices in November. Although there is no legal punishment for students over 18, tightened protocol was necessary to limit the use of the vaping devices in the hallways, bathrooms and classrooms.

Photo by Will Allen

Photo by Will Allen

VAPING SUPPLIES CONFISCATED: Administrators have collected JUULs and other vaping supplies from students after noticing an increase in the use of the devices in November. Although there is no legal punishment for students over 18, tightened protocol was necessary to limit the use of the vaping devices in the hallways, bathrooms and classrooms.

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The Roncalli administration started a campaign against the JUUL when it realized its popularity among students was growing.  In fact, its appearance in the halls (and bathrooms) of Roncalli has led to numerous student disciplinary actions.

But to analyze this in the most effective and fairest light, first it must be explained what a JUUL is and why it has started such a controversy.

A JUUL is a sleek, slender, palm sized, vaping contraption that can contain excessive amounts of nicotine.

Traditional vapes and E-cigarettes have been around for a relatively long time, reaching mainstream status in the later 2000’s. But it wasn’t until the summer of 2017 that the JUUL swept across the adolescent nation – and never looked back.

“To err on the side of conservative, I have probably confiscated around 15,” dean of students Mr. Tim Puntarelli said. “It all started in November, so I’ve had at least 15 from November until now.”

With strict policies in place – referrals, write ups, detentions – students are also faced with the additional possibility of suspension. But the punishment really stops there. Roncalli has never expelled a student for any sort of vaping misconduct.

“I don’t think anyone would ever get expelled for vaping at school,” Puntarelli said.  “We don’t have an impulse to kick someone out because they vape.”

Yet even 18-year-old students aren’t exempt from the vaping rules  – the federal legality of a vape is not protected in the eyes of the Roncalli student handbook.

“Even if you are 18 you cannot [vape] at school because [you’re] at school,” Puntarelli said.  “I am over 21, I can drink, but I can’t drink at school. Even though it is socially acceptable, some things just can’t happen at school.”

Puntarelli noted that high nicotine levels, in addition to the teenage capacity to take risks,  may be making vaping during the school day harder to resist. However, he still feels strongly that students should understand and comply with the rules set in place, emphasizing that Roncalli creates its handbook to encourage the growth and advancement of young people in a safe environment.

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