Important Letter to Parents

Important Letter to Parents
Posted on 04/30/2019
Important LetterApril 30, 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians:

We at Newington Public Schools believe it is very important to share information with you regarding a troubling trend on the rise among high school students. Over the past two months we have seen a significant increase in the use of electronic smoking devices to “vape” nicotine and cannabis (marijuana). These devices, frequently referred to as e-cigarettes, weed vaporizers, vape pens, or dab pens are easily purchased and easily concealed. These electronic devices can be used to vaporize opiates, synthetic substances and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive agent in marijuana). Teens can casually use these devices without notice because they are smokeless and odorless. The use of these odorless devices with marijuana concentrates, that can contain up to 90% THC, is of concern to administration and staff at Newington High School.

We realize that many of you may not be aware of this new trend and some of the ways that adolescents and teens are obtaining these devices. At this time there are many unknown health risk factors associated with the use of these products. Our commitment to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of our students is a priority. As such, we will continue to be diligent about enforcing school rules and Board of Education policies (Student Discipline Policy #5144) to the fullest extent when dealing with situations involving vaping on school property. In all instances, the device/paraphernalia will be confiscated, an immediate referral will be made to the Principal or designated school official and to the Student Resource Officer as well as an immediate health evaluation by the School Nurse. Appropriate consequences will be given which may include expulsion from school for up to one calendar year.

We are reaching out to you to provide information and inform you of the steps we are taking to help educate our students and families. Newington High School has conducted schoolwide programs and activities to provide information regarding the dangers of opioids and addiction. We will continue to work together with our students and parents. Below is a link and a list of key facts that may be helpful when talking with your child(ren).

Facts about Vaping:
Connecticut prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing electronic smoking devices.
Smoking of any type is prohibited on school property before, during, and after school hours.
Each cartridge may contain anywhere from the equivalent of one (1) to twenty (20) cigarettes’ worth of nicotine.
The JUUL (pronounced “jewel”) is rapidly becoming one of the most common electronic smoking devices used by students. The JUUL is attractive to adolescents/teens for many reasons. Reports indicate that the small size, many flavor options, and the ability to charge the device via a USB port are among the most popular reasons for owning, or wanting to own, a JUUL.
Studies have found these liquids can be thirty times more concentrated than dry marijuana leaves.
The effects of THC vary depending on who you are and/or the potency of the strain. It can
Alter one’s sense of time
Make the user anxious, afraid or panicked
Heighten one’s senses
Cause one to hallucinate

If you have questions, would like additional information, suspect your child is using vaping devices, or you want support please contact the school nurse’s office at 860-666-5611 x1163 or x1165.

Sincerely,

Pamela S. Muraca Terra A. Tigno
Interim Superintendent Principal, Newington High School