Juuls, e-cigs, cig-a-likes, vapes. Regardless of the lingo you choose to use, the underage usage of electronic smoking devices is an epidemic plaguing the lives of teenagers all across the country. Marian unfortunately is not immune to this outbreak in teenage rebellion. In order to try and stop this problem within our halls, administration made the decision to bring the whole school together for an informative presentation on the negative effects of vaping.
“It’s a growing problem and we feel like education is the best way we can tackle it right now,” Mrs. Jennifer Christen, Assistant Principal and the presenter at the vaping assembly on Nov. 15, said.
At the assembly, students watched a video outlining the plethora of negative impacts vaping has on your body. The reaction of the students after watching this video however, was alarming to many teachers and Christen herself. “I think the video was a little dramatic, but I also think it was really good and statistically spoke to the truths that are out there,” Christen said.
If you were in the East gym on that fateful Thursday afternoon, you heard the laughter from the student body each time an outdated, cultural norm was used to appeal to teens or a wild statistic was introduced. Christen however, notes that a very common response to knowing we are doing something wrong, is laughter. It is easy to laugh at funny lingo and out of date vape tricks being projected on the big screens in the gym, however that wasn’t the point of the video. The reason administration took a special amount of time to show the student body the video was to do what they are always devoted to doing, educating the students. The harmful chemicals held inside each pod and bottle of juice put the students in this building at risk of illnesses and even addiction. “I think vaping is an issue with our students. I think girls think it’s safer than it actually is,” Christen said.
Administration’s number one priority is to keep the student body safe, and an essential step to doing that in today’s world, is to educate them on the things that put them at risk. “If we can educate you, and if I can make just one or two people think before they do it, I think it’s worth it,” Christen said.
The rest of the staff at Marian is also getting an education in vaping to help ensure that their classrooms are immune to this addictive force. We are trying to educate the staff because we are hearing it happens in the classroom. We are trying to educate our staff but it’s really hard to stay ahead of what’s next,” Christen said.
For those students who are struggling with a vaping addiction, “Do your best to stop. It’s highly addictive, so if you are doing it, and you want to stop, I think the best thing to do is reach out and ask for help,” Christen said. The counselors and other staff members in Student Services are always an asset to anyone struggling with a vaping dependency, or just wanting more information about the harmful consequences of it.