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South administration outlines new JUUL policies

Calvin Prenkert, Editor

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South’s administration may now have a handle on the Juul epidemic, as those who are repeat offenders caught with the electronic smoking device in school are now being forced to open their wallets and pay a hefty fine.

In a recent email sent to Bloomington South faculty and staff, principal Mark Fletcher outlined new discipline policies regarding the electronic smoking devices.

“Most of you are aware of the increase in teen use, on local and national levels, of e-cigarettes. The impact these are having on teen nicotine addiction is significant and dangerous. In light of this, we have adjusted our discipline policy regarding possession and use of tobacco products,” Fletcher wrote.

First time offenders will now serve a one-day-out-of-school suspension and will attend a corporation mandated “Teens Beat Tobacco” class given by IU Health.

Second time offenders will serve a three-day-out-of-school suspension and pay a fine of $133.50 to the Monroe County Clerk’s Office.

Third time offenders will serve a five-day-out-of-school suspension.

In prior years, the risk of getting caught with a Juul, vape or any type of e-cigarette may have seemed less intimidating due to the South administration’s uncertainty of how to adapt smoking policies to fit the new technology. It often seemed they were content with handing out slaps on the wrist, but now a $133.50 fine looms over those who are caught as second-time offenders. To put it in perspective, Juul devices are sold at a $34.99 price point on Juul.com, and a pack of four flavored pods used to generate the smoke is only $15.99.

The health dangers of Juuling are still relatively unknown, with students not fully aware of the amount of nicotine being put inside of their bodies. With the implementation of an hour-long educational class, there is hope for teen smokers to realize what damage they are doing. However, those with an addiction are still addicted whether they take a class or not.

“I’m glad that they are focusing on something that seems to be a growing problem,” English teacher Erin Crowley said, “I’m worried that the continual increase in suspension won’t have the desired effect. They’re taking someone out of school, and I don’t know it does anything to curb their behavior.”  

In the email, Fletcher outlines that out-of-school suspensions will be utilized in varying length for each offense, including a week long suspension for three time offenders.

Fletcher has clearly set the precedent for any disciplinary action regarding e-cigarettes going forward. However, these needed changes still beg the question of whether new measures will be effective in heightening the risk for students debating bringing their electronic smoking paraphernalia to school. Only time will tell.

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South administration outlines new JUUL policies