Derby Public Schools will host an educational event about the risks of vaping, especially for young people.
The event comes as vaping is rising in popularity among teens across the United States. Vaping-related deaths recently have been reported across the U.S. as well, though not necessarily among teens.
In nearby Goddard, the USD 265 Board of Education voted in September to authorize several lawsuits against manufacturers and other members of the e-cigarette industry. The Times-Sentinel reports it could perhaps be the first litigation of its kind in the United States.
“Derby Public Schools is addressing this topic through safety and security initiatives, including efforts to educate our students, staff, families and community,” reads a district release about the event. “Teaching students about the risks of vaping prepares them to make more informed and better decisions for themselves.”
The informational presentation will be free and open to the public. It will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Derby North Middle School, 3100 N. Rock Rd.
The educational presentation also comes after the district announced in September that k-9 drug searches would return to Derby High School, Derby Middle School and Derby North Middle School in response to a stakeholder safety survey that indicated a desire for increased monitoring of drug and tobacco use.
The district is taking another step to discourage vaping and educate about its risks, with the implementation of “VapeEducate,” an online educational program. Students caught vaping on school premises are typically suspended for three days, but they will be allowed to come back sooner if they complete the hour-long educational program.
“We think it’s important that we do an education piece as well, so we’re not just doing enforcement,” said District Safety and Security Officer Matt Liston in September. “We’re also educating not only the students, but the parents as well.”
Funding for the program comes from a tobacco and alcohol tax grant provided by the City of Derby.