Mitchell High looks to curb the vaping device epidemic

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MITCHELL, Neb. - (KNEP) - Mitchell High School proactively enforces policy against vaping although more of it is coming to the school.

According to Principal Heath Peters, he has confiscated five or six so far this year but says there could be more in the school. The vaping devices are easy to conceal and hard to see which provides difficulty for the staff to confiscate.

The staff is relying on other measures that would give them reasonable cause such as the smell or visible smoke. They also have received anonymous tips as well which helps. Principal Peters admitted one student went as far as reporting his own vaping device missing.

The school is working to combat the issue and Principal Peters believes all schools not just in Nebraska, but nationwide are seeing this surge of devices as well. During the beginning of the school year, staff sent home a letter to parents with warning signs and was well information.

Principal Peters researched information and presented his findings to the students during the beginning of the school year as well. He feels it’s necessary to guide students and let them know of the dangers. He believes the devices are marketed more towards kids and wants everyone to see and understand they have a choice not to use them.

Staff have also stepped up on fighting this battle by remaining vigilant and going above and beyond their classrooms. Principal Peters stated he has teachers that walk the parking lots to ensure no one is using the devices on school property. Overall, they looked at the number of unsupervised areas on the property and are working to shrink the number of them.

Health teachers are also taking time out of their class to provide the health consequences to using the devices.

But is it enough to get the vaping devices off school property? Principal Peters believes it isn’t and feels there hasn’t been a decrease in the amount of vape devices on school grounds. He has talked to other districts and knows he isn’t the only one dealing with this.

For now, he will continue to push out as much information as he can to the parents and students while tracking down more devices and ridding them from the school.