SAN ANTONIO - Northeast ISD had a problem. Hundreds upon hundreds of cases of vaping have been reported by the district's various schools - and that report is two years old.
- Northeast ISD dealing with vaping problem
- Counselors educating students in classrooms at Winston Churchill High School
- THC can lead to 90-day expulsion
They decided to tackle the problem head on, and Winston Churchill High School is leading the way. It starts with getting counselors into the classroom to talk with each and every student.
"We're trying to be proactive so they don't get into trouble, and I'm encouraged that maybe some student might even come and talk and say, 'Hey, I'm doing it, I want to stop,'" said counselor Kathy Johnson. "That's why we have the counselors in the classroom. They're getting to know us and they might feel more open to coming and talking to us."
The meetings aren't lectures but more of a dialogue and a discussion. Students were given information on what vaping actually is, why people do it, and were encouraged to share their thought on vaping and the use of e-cigarettes. The initiative is something that student Maddie Castillo applauds.
"Now that there's many cases of people going to hospitals and getting sick, or even dying, I think many people are realizing how big of deal this is," said Castillo.
While the program is designed to help and find out reasons why a student might choose to vape, kids were also reminded of NEISD policy when it comes to vaping or bringing vaping supplies to school or school-related activities.
"It's very crystal, black and white, clear. If you're caught with this on a school campus, there will be a consequence," said Johnson.
While the punishments are fluid in most scenarios, a vaping pen or materials found to include THC come with an automatic recommendation for a 90-day expulsion from school.