Announcements and Important Events
February 22, 2018
Dear Parents and Guardians,
This communication comes to you asking for your assistance and also to make you aware of a policy change in the Student Handbook.
In the last year and a half the school has struggled with students vaping both in classrooms and in restrooms. Students vaping in the building was the number one suspension last school year and is increasing this school year. When talking with students I am told that between 50%-70% of students own their own Vape. Please know I have no hard data to support this, but simply student input. Vapes can be very small and inconspicuous, making it easy for a student to bring into a classroom. A person can simply carry them in the pocket of a sweatshirt or pants. When vaping, if a person holds the smoke in their mouth instead of blowing it out, the smoke will dissipate which as a result conceals the obvious sign of vaping.
These devices can use Vape juice, Nicotine based substances, or THC oil, which is the principal psychoactive chemical of marijuana. As you can imagine this is very concerning to all staff members in the building for a number of reasons. The obvious reason is that research suggests there are health risks that students are subjecting themselves to by vaping. Another is that your child deserves the opportunity to come to school and enter a classroom or restroom and not feel uncomfortable seeing other students using these tools knowing that they are not allowed in the building.
It is also important to note that last week I attended a meeting with approximately 50 other area Principals and virtually all of them spoke of the same concerns at their school that I have outlined for you. This is not just a Spring Lake issue, but one that is a concern for all schools. Past attempts of having teachers address their classes and Schoology pleas were not effective.
As of March 5, which is the beginning of the 3rd Trimester, we will be making an addendum to the Student Handbook. Because Vapes can use THC oil, which is a marijuana substance, possession of a Vape or similar device on school grounds will now be classified as drug paraphernalia. The first offense will be a 10-day at home suspension (with successful completion of Chemical Dependency Classes with a parent, a student can reduce the suspension to five days), second offense will be a 30-day at home suspension, and third offense is a 180-day at home suspension (one school year). In short, if a student feels the need to possess a Vape, it should not be at school at any time. Your student deserves to come to a safe environment each day and learn.
I would request that you please speak with your student about the information I have provided. You play an important role in assisting the school in eliminating this growing issue. We both want the same thing, which is a safe location for your student to come each day so they can learn and experience the many positive things Spring Lake High School has to offer.
Thank you in advance for your assistance and support.
Mike Gilchrist, Principal
E-CIGARETTES/VAPORIZERS OR “VAPES”
E-cigarettes, Vaporizers or “Vapes” and other such delivery systems are considered drug paraphernalia and are prohibited on school grounds. The use or possession of a vaporizer will result in the following disciplinary action.
Will be ten (10) days at home suspension from school and noti?cation given to the proper authorities. With successful completion of Chemical Dependency Classes with a parent, a student can reduce the suspension to ?ve (5) days. Upon return to school the student may be required to submit to random drug/alcohol testing.
Suspension of 30 school days pending action by the SLPS Board of Education.
Suspension of 180 school days pending action by the SLPS Board of Education.