From the Superintendent: A Message Concerning Vaping
September 15, 2019
Dear Radnor High School and Radnor Middle School Parents/Guardians,
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently advised all individuals to immediately stop smoking e-cigarettes and other vaping devices after hundreds of people became sick and at least six deaths are believed to have resulted from using the products. According to PBS News Hour, as many as 450 people in 33 states have reported possible pulmonary disease after using e-cigarette devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges. One case was reported in Broomall. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, fever and nausea or vomiting.
Last May, in a message to our district community, I shared relevant results from the November 2017 PA Youth Survey, in which a higher use of vape devices than the state and national rates was reported by our 8th, 10th and 12th graders and a higher rate than the state of vaping marijuana concentrate or hash oil was reported by our 10th and 12th graders. We are aware that we are not immune to this epidemic; we will continue to take action to combat it in our schools. As a district, we echo the CDC’s call and stress that all people using these devices should stop.
District Policy 222, Use of Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Products, prohibits the use of electronic smoking products on school grounds and in school buildings as well as lists consequences for violation. The possession and/or use of all cigarettes, electronic smoking products, and tobacco products is prohibited on school grounds – including all abutting sidewalks – and in school vehicles.
In recent years, we have held related educational events for parents and participated in a “Vaping and Teens” forum hosted by the Radnor Police. We have increased patrols of restrooms and locker rooms; staff have been provided pictures and descriptions of various vaporizers and vaping paraphernalia; RHS partnered with the Caron Foundation to plan lessons on the dangers of vaping for students in our 9th and 10th grade Health classes; and the RHS parent group Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK) held a informational meeting for parents dedicated to the issue.
For parents interested in learning more, the CDC provides helpful resources here. I encourage you to review the information provided and have a serious conversation with your child(ren) about the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping, especially in light of the CDC’s recent warning. If your child is vaping, and they need support to quit, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s counselor. Together, we can empower all students to make healthy, safe choices.
Kenneth E. Batchelor
Superintendent of Schools