Sevier Co. reveals guidelines for vaping in schools

(WSAZ)
Published: Oct. 21, 2019 at 6:27 PM EDT
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The Sevier County School Board voted on punishments for students caught vaping on school grounds.

The board voted unanimously on Monday, Oct. 21, to increase penalties and make a standardized punishment for vaping, smoking or catching students with vape or tobacco paraphernalia in schools across the district.

According to a document at the school board meeting, "The use and possession of tobacco or smoking products will mean holding of cigarette, cigar, pipe or electronic cigarette; any inhaling of smoke; or any chewing or dipping of any tobacco product. Tennessee law defines 'electronic cigarette' as an electronic device that converts nicotine into a vapor that is inhaled by the user."

The school board said, "Students who are minors (under age 18) will be subject to civil penalties and will receive a citation that will be handled by appropriate legal authorities. Minor students should remember that it remains illegal in Tennessee for persons under the age of eighteen to purchase, possess, or use tobacco products or electronic cigarettes."

"While students who are 18 years of age or older may not receive a tobacco citation, they are subject to the same disciplinary penalties as minors," the document said.

Students caught vaping, smoking, or is in possession of vape/tobacco paraphernalia

First offense

Three days in alternative school or three days suspension

Second offense

Citation plus five days in alternative school or five days suspension

Third offense

Citation plus 10 days in alternative school or 10 days suspension

Fourth offense

Citation plus a hearing with the superintendent

Students caught vaping, using tobacco or is in possession of paraphernalia and has also shared paraphernalia with other students

First offense

Citation plus five days in alternative school or out of school suspension

Second offense

Citation plus 10 days in alternative school or out of school suspension

Third offense

Citation plus a hearing with the superintendent

The new guidelines come after an increase in vaping-related incidents, the school board said. "Due to the increased prevalence of vaping products and vaping-related incidents in the schools, the district seeks to implement a uniform method of discipline to address the illicit use of these harmful products."

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