Cassville schools adjusting handbook to ban e-cigs

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

High school records 40 vaping infractions in 17 weeks this year

The Cassville school district is preparing to update its handbook to add e-cigarettes and CBD products to its list of unauthorized substances after a sharp rise in recent years of vaping incidents.

According to school officials, there have been 40 vaping infractions at the high school in the first 17 weeks of class, which is nearly double the amount in the same period in 2018 and far above the 6 infractions in 2016.

As a result, administration is asking the school board to adjust the school handbook to include vapor cigarettes, patches, e-cigs and CBD products. The change also raises the penalties for possession, use, distribution or sale of such items.

Previously, a first offense was a conference with parent and student and three days in-school suspension. A second offense was five days of in-school suspension, a third offense was three days out-of-school suspension and subsequent offenses resulted in 5-10 days of out-of-school suspension. The items are also confiscated in every case.

The proposed change would make it five days of in-school suspension on a first offense, three days out-of-school and three days in-school suspension on a second offense, five days out-of-school and five days in-school suspension on a third offense and 10 days-out-of-school suspension for subsequent offenses. The items are also still confiscated in every case.

“Marijuana extracts,” including cannabidiol (THC) or CBD, was also added to the controlled substances section of the handbook, prohibiting the use, sale, transfer, possession of being under the influence on school property or any school-owned vehicle or school-sponsored event.

A first offense in this case remains unchanged at 10-180 days of out-of-school suspension, and a second offense is recommended expulsion with possible prosecution under Missouri state law.

Administrators said the rise of teen use of electronic cigarette and CBD products has been startling, so much so that there are not many policies in place yet that address them.

In Missouri, it is illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase tobacco or CBD oil used in electronic cigarettes, but it is easier to buy over-the-counter CBD products made form industrial hemp. Administrators cited concerns over correct labeling, citing one study that showed about 25 percent of CBD products had the wrong percentages of CBD and THC.

“School is not a place to experiment with vaping or CBD,” said Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent. “The consequences [in the handbook] are for that reason.

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