Vapes confiscated in school


Vape devices often look like USB drives. This can make it confusing for them to be identified.

John Austin, Reporter

There have been a growing amount of vaping incidents this year, both throughout the country and at Big Spring High School. Over 1000 people have fallen ill, and at least 26 people have died due to lung illnesses from vaping. Over 150 of those cases deal with teenagers under the age of 18, according to The Washington Post. 

The 2019 school year brings new materials, new classes, new friends, and of course new problems, some of those dealing with vaping. One of the growing problems in America is the use of vapes by high school students. Scott Penner, Dean of Students, said that so far during the 2019 school year there have been around 5 vapes confiscated at Big Spring. “Schools have the right to search if they suspect anyone has any type of vape device.” said Penner. He also said that there are different punishments. The first offense is 1 day of out of school suspension (O.S.S). A second offense means that the student will have 3 days of O.S.S., and the third offense is 5 days of out of school suspension. 

Another growing product is the dab pen. Dab pens are pen-style vaporizers for marijuana. They are used for the consumption of dabs, which are small concentrates of THC. The discipline level rises significantly for the use of marijuana. If a student is found with a dab pen, they will receive a 25 day minimum of O.S.S. unless the student agrees to go to a drug counseling program, which could cut the number of days down to 15. Penner said, “If suspected for possession of marijuana the school can search and the punishment could be enough for expulsion.” 

Adam Degregorio, a high school student and athlete, said that he does not vape because “It is a bad habit to get into this young, and it is very expensive.” He also said that he believes that vapes can be just as addictive as cigarettes. Degregorio said he is not bothered by the growing amount of deaths. “There are probably more deaths by a vending machine in a year.” said Degregorio.” The minimum age to purchase vapes is 18, but measures have been considered to raise that age to 21. Degregorio said,  “By 18 you’re smart enough to make your own decisions.” 

Alexa Walter, a college student at Delaware Valley, denied having and using vape products because she “doesn’t have the urge to vape” and she also doesn’t want to spend the money. Walter believes that vapes are better than cigarettes. She was not bothered by the amount of deaths and illnesses caused by vaping. “Death is inevitable.” said Walter. “You are more likely to die in a car than if you vape, and you can also control how much you vape.” Also, she believed that the age of 18 if fine for the use of products because “either way kids will get a hold of them.”

The concern of deaths and illnesses by vaping products is growing. Vapes have not been proven safe to use and can become addictive over time, and the punishments for having them on school property can be severe.