By Kendall Patterson
During the Chester County Board of Education meeting last week, the school board approved in joining the National Litigation Against Student Vaping.
Joining the litigation will help the school get any funds or resources that can help deter vaping in Chester County Schools.
When asked by CCBOE member Norris Frank, Chester County High School Principal Clay Murley explained that vaping is a serious issue at the high school.
“I dealt with the situation just yesterday where I just asked a kid, ‘what percentage of our kids at our high school vape right now, he said way above 50… closer to 70,’” Murley said. “That may have been an exaggeration, but it wouldn’t surprise me.”
The e-cigarettes are harder to detect and control due to the size they can be and the smoke they give off having a fruity smell or no smell at all.
Some of them are smaller than a pencil. They can put them in their pocket and hide them, and unfortunately access to get them is easy as well,” Murley said. “There’s no smell to them, so unless you are actually watching a kid do it, they can do it while walking down the hall.”
CCHS Assistant Principal Wes McPeake added “They can do it in the class room and blow it in their sleeve and you would never even know.”
Murley explained how the bathroom is the number one area where it occurs, but if they find out they can not do it there, they would just find somewhere else.
When Frank asked if the students know how vaping is affecting their bodies, Murley replied, “I don’t think so. I think they hear, and they will tell you they hear, but I don’t think they comprehend.”
Furthermore, it is said that vaping is more addictive than cigarettes and the fruity flavor adds on to enticing the students. And a student that attended the meeting said he knew students that said they would quit and be back on it within a couple weeks.
If caught, the punishment is the same as being caught with a cigarette Murley said.
There was some good news that was mentioned during the board of education though. The Board recognized the CCHS HOSA students and Future Business Leaders of America students that advanced past state competition and will be able to compete in Nationals.
Also, the CCBOE recognized Brianne Matheney of CCHS and Diane Johnson of East Chester Elementary for being selected as Region-Level Semifinalists for Tennessee Teacher of the Year.
Murley also announced that that the plan for graduation is 7 p.m. Monday, May 17 at Loyd Auditorium.