BCHS students could face public offense action if caught with vape on campus

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 8:44 PM CDT
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BARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) - Officials say there were nearly 500 incidents of students caught vaping at school in Barren County from grades seven through 12 last year.

“I don’t agree with vaping, I’ve talked to my grandson, and you know, we talked about it and and how bad it is,” says Freddie Wilkerson of the compliance letter sent home regarding being caught at school with vapor products.

Now, officials say students could face charges if caught on campus with a vape.

“We are hoping to address this issue through education through addiction counseling,” says Kathryn Thomas, the Barren County Attorney.

Parents and Guardians are feeling a mix of emotions over the compliance letter that states Barren County High School is now a zero-tolerance campus.

“I’m concerned on the level that if you take it that extreme, we’re going to alter some young people’s lives. I’m sure there’s a problem, but let’s do it at the lowest level possible. Let’s engage as, as a community and figure out what’s best for our children, and then apply it as long as it’s legal, ethical, and moral,” adds Wilkerson.

What is really concerning some, is the punishment the student will receive if caught with vapor products on campus.

“If a child, was a juvenile, was found to be in possession of a vape pen at school, they would be referred to the court designated workers office, which is an office that handles all juvenile offenses, this is what’s called in Kentucky Revised Statutes, a public offense action, it’s not a criminal action, it’s not going to have those same ramifications that an adult getting a being charged or convicted of a Class A misdemeanor would have,” also says Kathryn Thomas.

While some believe the measure is drastic, others say, it is to protect the students well-being.

“You can you can go online, buy empty vapor cartridges and fill them with various oils. Sure they’re used for THC, sure they’re used with other substances are laced with other substances and that’s the real scary part for our kids.

Barren County Schools also sent out a statement with regards to the compliance.

They say quote, “the policy is not intended to be a punishment but rather a structured response to an issue that poses a serious danger to a large number of our students.”

Full BCHS response:

BCHS statement on vapor products on campus
BCHS statement on vapor products on campus(BCHS)

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