Morgan Hill school district tackles issue of teens smoking E-cigarettes

Bay Area

Morgan Hill school district is taking matters into its own hands when it comes to educating parents on a growing trend as more and more teenagers are smoking E-cigarettes than ever before.

On Tuesday night, parents and school officials addressed the issue. The school district says vaping is a nationwide epidemic.

After numerous phone calls from parents asking for the signs of vaping, the district decided it was time to address the issue.

Parents and their children showed up for an informational session. Patti Marentes needed answers.

Her 11-year-old son George was caught at school with a vape pen.

“They called me,” Marentes said. “I didn’t know what to expect, so when I got to the office, I was in shock. I was like, ‘What do you mean he has that?’ I was ready to take the belt and whoop him.”

Marijuana and vape pens are a growing trend among teens and pre-teens.

The packaging has gotten so obscure, parents sometimes have no idea what they’re looking at.

“I don’t know what’s the difference, so it’s like, which should I be more concerned of,” Marentes said.

“Marijuana has a marijuana smell, but the nicotine has a very sweet smell,” Coordinator of Student Services Jessie Swift said.

These vape and marijuana pens were all confiscated from students throughout the Morgan Hill School District, advising parents E-cigarettes are not safer than conventional cigarettes.

And with their children’s developing brains, it isn’t safe to use any tobacco product that contains nicotine.

“The biggest and scariest for me is that we don’t know what’s gonna happen 20 years from now. We don’t know the data because it hasn’t been around that long,” Swift said.

Students caught with either E-cigarettes or marijuana are suspended.

If caught selling, they are expelled.

“And if it is marijuana, they face the penal system and get cited,” Swift said.

The district hopes this will be the first of many meetings.

The next discussion will be at Martin Murphy Middle School in San Jose.

Right now, that date is to be announced.

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