Billinghurst Middle School addressing vaping crisis

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - School Administrators at Billinghurst Middle School in Northwest Reno are trying to end the use of vaping products on school grounds.

This school year, Billinghurst has 19 confirmed events of students using vaping products.

Jason Mattick, the assistant principal, said a student in possession of a vaping device with nicotine or juice will be suspended 1 to 3 days and given literature and classes for both the parents and students to take. If the vape contains THC, students can be arrested.

Dee Ann Radcliffe, mother of a student at Billinghurst said, she is pleased to find out Billinghurst is making it a safer environment for her child.

"I feel for the kids if they are in that circumstance, but I think it needs to be very punitive and send a strong message because it is not acceptable behavior."

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports 33 vaping deaths in 24 states as of October 17, 2019. Mattick said the consequence of vaping could have deadly consequences.

"Now you’re 18, now you’re 30, and now you’re on your death bed, because you thought at 14, 15, or maybe 12, that vaping was a good idea," said Mattick.

Parents, staff, and students, like Aspen Nay who is an eighth grader, gathered at the Gym in Billinghurst Middle School, where school leaders let parents know about increasing education regarding vaping dangers.

"My friend talked about having an e-cigarrate in her gym locker, right in this very gym, and I thought that was honestly very disturbing,” said Nay.

Mattick said, now is the time to take a stance to protect as many students as possible from the harmful effects of vaping.

"We don’t want to see one of our family members, a bighorn student, go down or have an illness related to vaping or THC or overdosing or anything like that," said Matick.

The school’s administration said Billinghurst is the first school in Washoe County School District to partner with Join Together Northern Nevada, which is an organization that helps create a healthier community.

"JTNN has really stepped up for us and created literature, the dangers of vaping, for us to pass out to students and parents that both have to sign off on as part of one of the consequences in restoring that student back into our school."

Billinghurst administrators said by providing parents, students, and staff with the necessary information and stiff consequences, Northern Nevada can avoid becoming a growing statistic.

Links to vaping resources:
http://mylifemyquit.com/
http://teen.smokefree.gov/

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