CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News has been telling you about the vaping concerns all around the metro area. Now, a local district will enforce stricter punishments for student vaping THC.
Like many school systems across metro Atlanta, Cherokee County is battling an epidemic of vaping in their schools. The Cherokee County School Board recently passed a zero-tolerance policy.
If a student is caught with synthetic THC, the district will treat it like a felony marijuana offense under the new policy, which goes into effect in September.
Channel 2's Tom Regan has been following the growing vaping problem in Georgia schools, with dozens of students hospitalized in the past year.
Cherokee officials would not tell Regan how many students districtwide have gotten sick from vaping. But there have been cases of seizures and overdoses, requiring a 911 response.
“I had a student sitting next to me, during the state milestone tests, vaping," one student told Regan.
The problem isn’t just nicotine. It’s the organic and synthetic THC chemicals mixed in.
“You don’t know what’s in it. And the potential for allergic reaction is very high,” said Phil Price, a member of Cherokee’s multi-agency narcotics squad.
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Cherokee County Schools sent an email alerting parents to its tough new anti-vaping policy. A student caught could face suspension, alternative school or even expulsion.
The student must prove they were not vaping a THC product to avoid the most serious punishment.
“It’s a little harsh. It’s extreme. But I’m glad there’s not going to be any vaping anymore,” a student said.
A woman whose daughter is a high school teacher told Regan the policy needed to be strict.
“It’s overdue because kids are getting ahold of things they shouldn’t have. It’s laced with things, they don’t know what’s in there,” Susan Smith said.
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