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Parent complains about vaping in school, district vows to act

JACKSON TWP — A Seneca Valley parent told the school board Monday night that her son, a student at the intermediate high school, is addicted to nicotine and vapes in the bathroom at his school.

Lydia Horvath told the board her 15-year-old son’s appetite, digestion and grades have been affected by his addiction to nicotine.

She said in October he was found vaping on school grounds by security, who ridiculed him as they escorted him inside.

Horvath said her son received a four-day suspension, a $50 fine and basic information on the effect of vapes on the body.

She also lamented that students who are addicted to nicotine are inside the school for 6.5 hours each day without help for their addiction.

She said alcoholics have sponsors and other resources to get them through the day without alcohol, but teenagers addicted to nicotine have no such support.

Horvath presented the board with a petition on vaping and said she will return to the next meeting with information on successful programs other school districts have in place regarding vaping.

She said a group of concerned parents is willing to work with administrators on the vaping issue in the district, which she said now includes THC vapes and edibles.

Superintendent Tracy Vitale said after the meeting that a settlement from JUUL resulting from multidistrict litigation on vaping will be voted on at next week’s school board meeting.

If the board approves the approximately $85,000 settlement amount, Vitale said the funds will go toward additional vaping education in health classes, more vaping education for parents and the community, the purchase of upgraded vape detectors to replace the eight-year-old versions in bathrooms in grades seven through 12, and cameras.

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