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Electronic cigarettes have officially been banned at North Oldham High School, according to an email bulletin to parents Tuesday.
Principal Lisa Jarrett said “e-Cigs” have been a topic of discussion for about four weeks.
Jarrett was approached by a student and his parent about using electronic cigarettes in school as he attempts to quit smoking.
School officials talked to the district administration before giving the OK, but also established parameters for when it could be used, Jarrett said.
Those rules included only using the electronic cigarette in the school’s health room where students receive medication, and only during free time – between classes or during lunch.
Jarrett said the parent and student were thrilled with the agreement.
“And almost immediately, he got caught using it in class,” she said.
From there, several other students were caught using them in bathrooms and classrooms, she said.
The parameters established for using the device were intended to make the usage discreet, Jarrett said.
Jarrett was disappointed.
“You try to give them a little bit of a break,” she said, “And they almost just ignore it.”
In hindsight, Jarrett wonders if her initial decision was a bad call.
Instead of helping students quit smoking, perhaps they got the message that “this is something you can do instead of smoking,” Jarrett said — not her intention.
“It just goes back to show you have to keep up with the times,” she said.
Tuesday’s announcement said students have used the devices “inappropriately and in unauthorized ways” and that the administration has now banned them completely.
Students who violate the ban will have the device confiscated and will be assigned a Saturday School detention.