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US School "Crackdown"

Vaping is placed on a par with illegal drugs as a set of schools in Ohio begin random searches and scans with detector wands

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Agencies and lobby groups pushing a fear agenda, focussing on a so-called teen vaping epidemic, has resulted in several acts of idiocy: police arresting students, toilets closed down. Now parents and students in the Hamilton School District are being advised that all students will be randomly checked with hand-held detectors.

As of last Monday, Hamilton School District Superintendent Michael Holbrook promised “the heaviest effort yet” to crackdown on what he perceives to be a “vaping menace”.

The Hamilton School District encompasses eight facilities including Hamilton High, Templeton Middle, Silver Spring Intermediate, Willow Springs Learning Centre and a bunch of Elementary schools.

Holbrook has authorised the use of handheld ‘magic wand’ detectors to be used randomly on students in order to uncover vaping paraphernalia.

No information about the action was available on the School District website, but letters have gone out to 2,900 homes.

It comes in response to 30 devices being found in total this school year, in a school of around 2000 students.

The local media tracked down grandparent Cindy Baker, who was happy to go along with this ridiculous scheme: “I don't believe that it's an invasion of privacy because I believe it's to protect them all in the long run."

The “crackdown” is accompanied by class presentations from a pair of researchers at the Butler Tech Bioscience Centre. This includes being told things like, "Your brain is not fully developed until you're 25 years old”.

It has resulted in children parroting absolute rubbish; student Winter Davis is quoted as saying: "Vaping has more nicotine than an actual cigarette, which is horrible. It could cause life-long damage."

Michael Holbrook wrote about his fears in the letter to parents: “One of the most concerning issues is that THC (or marijuana) oil can be put in the reservoir of many of these devices allowing users to get high."

The punishment for being found with a vape device:

  • 10-day suspension
  • A recommendation for an 80-day expulsion
  • A urine analysis within 48 hours

Hamilton City Schools spokeswoman Joni Copas commented: “They come in so many different shapes and sizes. Everyone has to be educated on what they look like. All schools across the nation are seeing an increase in vaping devices. We put it on social media. We sent letters home to all parents for students in grades 7 through 12, so no one should be caught off guard.”

This action now places vaping on par with the possession of illegal drugs, and the action is more severe than being caught with a cigarette. Leading figures are looking at rolling out the policy across the Ohio state.

Copas added: "I grew up with a mom who was a smoker, I think it's really bad."

Not only will teen smokers have their route to harm reduction blocked by these zealots, they are going to be stigmatised. Some may wonder if anybody involved in Ohio’s education has thought this through.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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