by Jessyca Cardinell
A discussion was held at the regularly scheduled Gouverneur Central School District Board of Education meeting held November 19 involving the new trend which unfortunately has made its way onto school grounds, vaping.
“It was brought to my attention that people have been witnessing or observing students vaping while they are still on school property and wondering what our responsibility is,” said Mrs. Lauren French, Superintendent of Schools.
“Our responsibility is if we are aware of it, we are to acknowledge the student's behavior and use our Code of Conduct. In talking with the attorney about this, we are probably going to have to revise a statement in our policies to 7320 which we did just do in August because we refer to them as E-Cigarettes, vaping is not the same thing as an E-Cigarette. We would have to add the term vaping to that, which we will do.
“The other thing is just to encourage our staff and administrators that when they see this occurring, that they address it. Unfortunately some of our students don't recognize or realize the health hazards that are associated with vaping.” said Mrs. French, who stated that right now the Middle School is largely affected by this problem.
“No one is looking the other way, when we see and observe it, they are held responsible and accountable for it,” said Mrs. French, who stated to the Board she would bring the policy with that word added to it for the next Board meeting held December 17.
Mrs. French added that more informational instruction could be done through health class to ensure students are more aware of the potential hazard vaping can cause.
“What is difficult is some of the individuals with whom I've spoken to do not look at it as a health issue and some parents are aware that it is taking place and don't look at it as a health issue,” she said. “It's one of those things where you're in the position of educating not only the student but the parent as well.”
Mr. Steve Coffin, Gouverneur Middle School Principal stated that many students have received a presentation on the dangers of vaping and there is a lot of advocacy available.
“We, at the Middle School, do a lot with presenting the dangers of vaping and students who are caught vaping have to do intensive research on the dangers of vaping,” said Mr. Coffin, of the present issue.
Mr. David Fenlong, President of the GCSD Board of Education, stated how important it is to correct the policy to reflect that vaping is unacceptable as the district does not want to look as though they are accepting one act over the other.