TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – Nearly a year ago, Tyler ISD implemented a new policy to tackle vaping, from installing vape detectors to sending students to their DAEP (Discipline Alternative Education Program).
“THC vapes make up around 11% overall student placement, the non-thc vapes, just the regular e-cigs and vaping devices those make up approximately about 21%,” said John D Johnson III the Director of Constituent Services at Tyler ISD.
House Bill 114, passed in the Texas regular session and it requires schools to put students in DAEP if they sell, give, have, or use a vape within 300 feet of any school property on or off. DAEP has been described as a step above detention and a step below suspension. Under the law, school discretion will soon be no more.
The director of constituent services at Tyler ISD, says this law can impact students in the long run.
“It’s just not about having a rule and having somebody follow it, following this rule could be the difference between being on life support or being on the transplant list,” said Johnson.
However, not everyone is agreeing with this decision. Ashlei Lloyd is with Next Step Community Solutions a non-profit in East Texas that provides substance abuse prevention. She says the punishment won’t always fit the infraction
“A lot of times for students that been violent repeatedly got in trouble and so for a student, one time being caught with a vape and being thrown with those kids can really have some harmful impacts on that child,” said Lloyd.
The non-profit has a prevention program called “REACH” in DAEP to help students that are there.
“We talk about vaping, we talk about other substances and like self-regulation,” said Lloyd.
She also says reducing teen vaping starts at home.
“The number one thing that stops a child from using a substance is parent disapproval,” said Lloyd.
One thing, Johnson recommends to other schools preparing right now for this law is that they need to be transparent with parents and students.
“Communicating with parents, you are just not hearing it because your child was caught with a vape or because their child was caught vaping,” said Johnson.
That’s what many East Texas schools are doing by posting this information on Facebook, one is example is this post that Lufkin ISD made.
The law is set to take effect on Sept. 1st.
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