New Rules Mean Vaping Now Considered Drug Violation In Forsyth County Schools

New Rules Mean Vaping Now Considered Drug Violation In Forsyth County Schools

6:00am Dec 07, 2018
The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Education Building on Bethania Station Rd. in Winston-Salem. KERI BROWN/WFDD

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools has made some big changes to address the growing trend of vaping by students.

District leaders have shifted their policy. Vaping devices are now considered drug paraphernalia and a violation of the system’s code of student conduct.

That's because there’s been a growing concern among those at the district that vaping could be dangerous. Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program Manager Kathy FitzJefferies says she’s worried about what chemicals are being used in these vaping devices.

"Some teenagers are using THC oil, a drug in marijuana, and it can be incredibly potent,” she says. “If they’re using what they called synthetic marijuana, which could be the bath salts or other substances that we may not even know what they are, some of them are getting them off the internet from China, and so we are very concerned about that and want to be sure that they get the help that they need.”

The new rules went into effect in September.

FitzJefferies says a student who is caught vaping will be referred to an outside program known as Insight. The process includes an assessment and drug testing. The program could include things like educational classes with their parents or counseling in some cases.

The district says it will hold information sessions for the community about the policy changes. Those dates and sites will be announced in January.

*Follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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