Bismarck Police and Burleigh Health Officials educate teachers on student vaping trends

Published: Sep. 20, 2019 at 11:34 AM CDT
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The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction is educating teachers on a new, dangerous trend, that is making its way into the classrooms of high school and middle school students.

Bismarck Police say they are finding THC pods in schools across the district that are being used as replacements in electronic cigarettes.

Officers say on-campus vaping has increased over the last couple of years. This year, they're even seeing e-cigarettes in middle schools.

The use of vapes and Juuls in the classrooms, bathrooms, and parking lots isn't surprising to students, but to faculty it is.

"They are being brought into the school, that’s the problem that were seeing. It's arriving and it's being used at the school. Were having troubles keeping up with it and managing it in the schools," said Joe Kalvoda, South Central Bismarck principal.

The latest trend includes students replacing the vapor with THC pods.

"It’s difficult that you don’t know what’s in the pod, so what exactly it is the substance that they are vaping and that really brings an elements of insecurity and safety issue to the school," said Kalvoda.

With the use of e-cigarettes climbing through the high schools, school recourse officers are seeing the craze spread to other areas.

"We are seeing it trickle down into the middle schools more and more," said Josh Brown, a SRO for Bismarck Public Schools.

Bismarck Police and the Burleigh Public Department of Health are educating teachers on how to spot the hidden addictions.

"They're making ones that look like watches, and pens. It makes them hard to identify exactly what you’re dealing with," said Kalvoda.

They are also providing resources for faculty to help students blow off the addiction or recover from nicotine dependencies.

"Law enforcement should be able to come in and be a resource with educators and together we can create a curriculum and plan to really present to the students why these are such a problem and danger," said Brown.

Schools are consistently changing their curriculum to keep up with the ongoing trends and how to keep the dangers of them out of the hallways and the lungs of students.

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