QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY – (Dec. 7, 2018)—In response to the growing problem of vaping among students in the school district, and Maryland’s new law regarding ecigarettes, QACPS Superintendent Andrea M. Kane, Ph.D. sent a letter to parents and caretakers detailing the steps the school district is taking to address the issue, and consequences associated with nicotine/vaping infractions. The letter also outlined resources and support available to students who vape or use other nicotine products.
The letter addressed Maryland’s new law, passed on October 1, which makes the sale and possession of ecigarettes illegal for anyone under the age of 18 (Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 10-108(c) 2018).
As a result of this law, QACPS has revised its Student Discipline Code. QACPS will work closely with law enforcement when a student violates the QACPS Student Discipline policy regarding use and possession of tobacco products, cigarette rolling paper, or an electronic nicotine delivery system (vape/JUUL). Infractions to this policy will include imposing a school consequence, which will include a mandated school based nicotine education program. School administration will also make an immediate report to the School Resource Officer (SRO) who will then issue a civil citation to the student in accordance with the new law. The amount of the citation is $50. For continuous non-compliance, the school may impose a more serious consequence.
QACPS will impose consequences and involve law enforcement (SRO) when students are found to be in possession or use of a vape/JUUL. QACPS acknowledges that some students may have developed a dependence on nicotine. A goal of the nicotine education program is to help students learn healthy habits; free from dependence on nicotine.
Through a grant from the Local Management Board, QACPS has hired Katherine Wright as a full-time Substance Use Counselor to meet with students in need of assistance. Wright has years of expertise in the area of substance use and addiction.
“The issue of vaping among students under the age of 18 years old in QACPS is problematic,” said Dr. Kane. “Our goal is to support our students in making positive decisions now about their health and well-being, with the hopes these good choices serve them well into adulthood. We are grateful for the support of families and the community in supporting our efforts.”