DHS increases consequences for JUULing

Katelin Taranovich

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As students’ use of JUULs continues to rise, so have the violations and the consequences.

During the first semester, the number of tobacco violations rose at an alarming rate.

“Last semester we had 38 tobacco violations, and a majority of those were JUULs. Last year, like the whole school year, we had 16,” Student Resource Officer Amanda Stitt said.

Derby administration drastically increased the severity of.

A student’s first violation is three days of out-of-school suspension.

“(Administration) changed it because we were having so many. It used to be three days in school, now it’s three days out.” Stitt said.

Getting caught more than once has ever harsher consequences.

The second violation is five days out of school suspension.

The third violation is 10 days of out-of-school suspension and an expulsion hearing.

In a survey of Derby High students, 58 percent said the punishment was not too harsh.

No matter how students try to hide it, they can’t seem to escape the watchful eye of the SROs, administration or the gleaming lens of someone’s camera.

“A lot of times when it is reported to us, it’s somebody in class is Snapchatting it out and somebody sees it on Snapchat and then we call that student up and, sure enough, they have a JUUL,” Stitt said.

Whether it’s a friend or sibling, JUUL-ing has become more widespread — including into the middle schools.

“We have become aware of it, and it is a small problem, but I anticipate it getting bigger,” Derby North Middle School principal Jeff Smith said.

“We don’t catch them often. I believe we have caught three. I have researched 20 rumors and searched lockers but haven’t found anything (else).”

Derby High and Derby North are working to educate the students and staff about JUUL-ing, including the consequences.

“The first thing I want to do is educate our staff on JUUL-ing. What they look like — they don’t look like anything we’ve had before,” Smith said.  “I had our school resource officer do a presentation to our staff so they know what to look for.”

Stitt added: “What we’re doing is we’re trying to educate by going into the health science classes, doing the pamphlet and just talking about it every chance we get. ‘Hey it’s like $100 fine’ or ‘you have to go to court.’”

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DHS increases consequences for JUULing