LEE CO., GA (WALB) - One South Georgia School District is concerned by the number of its students bringing e-cigarettes, and vapes on campus.
Lee County Middle School east and west campus assistant principals said they have seen a major increase in students vaping this school year.
Rhett Grant, the east campus assistant principal, said that last school year he only had two tobacco e-cigarette referrals.
“Now, here in January, we are up to 28 to 30 referrals for this school year. It has been a drastic increase of vaping and incidents that we have seen come across my desk,” said Grant.
Trey Haynes, the assistant principal for the west campus, said he has seen similar behavior at his school.
That is why school officials are sending home a letter to all parents at both campuses.
“We talked a couple weeks ago about if we were both seeing similar things at our campus. It has just kind of taken off this year and that is when we made a decision to put together a letter to send out to parents to talk about the consequences and also, a little education about what the e-cigs and vapes can do,” explained Haynes.
Haynes said that it is scary how easy underage kids can get their hands on these devices.
“They buy from older students, sometimes they get them from home. There is a lot of different ways for them to get them. Yes, we have had several incidents where they have tried to sell them or they have brought them for friends,” said Haynes.
Grant said a concern is how easily it can be to place marijuana into the vape pens.
“That is the last thing you want is your kid sitting in class next to somebody with marijuana or even nicotine products. That is why we are taking the next step and having harsher discipline protocol for it," said Grant.
The Lee County School System wants to make sure that all students know that if they are caught on campus with any of these devices, they could face an out-of-school suspension or have to go in front of a tribunal.