Vaping Consequences: Not So Sweet

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 23, 2022 | 0 Comments

Originally seen as a safer alternative to cigarettes, vaping continues to be controversial, especially for underage students. Some school districts are joining a national lawsuit against JUUL and Altria Group Inc (formerly Phillip Morris), and in some states, such as Illinois, police were ticketing students for vaping in school.

Pre-COVID-19 pandemic, vaping was written about as an “epidemic,” and although it hasn't been featured in the news much, students are still at risk of getting in trouble if they are caught vaping in school.

What Are Some Potential Consequences?

Disciplinary approaches across high schools vary, as vaping policies (and how violations are handled) can be something decided district by district or even school by school.

Some schools offer educational programs similar to the drug or alcohol programming found in many colleges. If your school takes this approach, you might find that this is the only disciplinary action, or it could be the minimum disciplinary action. Educational programs can vary from presentations or workshops that are one-time only to classes that occur over the course of a month or online courses. Sometimes students will have to research a topic connected to vaping and submit an essay about the dangers associated with vaping.

Other schools take a zero-tolerance approach, and students caught vaping or in possession of vaping paraphernalia could face mandatory school suspension. For example, Horry County school district in South Carolina has a “mandatory three to five days out-of-school suspension for the first offense if they are found with e-cigarettes or smoking-related devices.” While facing disciplinary action at their school might seem minor, a suspension can have significant effects on your high school career.

The suspension can result in poorer grades due to missed exams or assignments, which can, in turn, impact your ability to get into college. You've invested hours and hours of your life into your academic career and perhaps even money into tutors or SAT prep. As a high school student, you don't want to throw away all of your hard work and effort just because of some e-cigs.

Allegations of Vaping and High School Drug Use

The possible consequences become more severe when allegations of drug use are attached to a high school student's vaping. This is a common occurrence in school's where a student is not only accused of vaping, but vaping marijuana, THC, or some other controlled substance. It is all too easy for a school official - be it a teacher, coach, or school police officer, for example - to point the finger and claim that the student was not "just" vaping, but vaping a drug.  In such instances, students and families can expect the stakes to be raised tremendously, as a finding of responsibility for drug use in high school can often lead to dismissal or placement in an alternative disciplinary school.

High Stakes and Less Due Process

Despite the higher stakes, students should not expect any greater due process in determining what in fact took place, and what would be an appropriate outcome should it be decided that the school was vaping a drug.  How high schools often decide such cases can be equated to a comedy of errors unfortunately.  School officials often do not suggest to drug test the student to potentially have more assurance as to what in fact happened, any potential exculpatory evidence (evidence that would be favorable to the accused student) is often brushed aside or even supposedly lost by the school, and other failures generally define such high school disciplinary proceedings.

Despite the roughshod nature of such proceedings, findings of drug use, or any adverse path such as being removed from one's home school and being sent to an alternative school, will be major obstacles to overcome when applying to college, trying to serve in the military, and even trying to find a first job.

Unfortunately, high school is a different world today, an accused student and their family cannot expect the school and school officials to do the right thing. Professional help is needed as early as possible when accused to ensure a fair process while working towards a reasonable resolution.

An Experienced Attorney-Advisor Can Help With Your Vaping Allegation

An experienced attorney-advisor understands how to navigate the high school disciplinary proceedings and how to do so in a way that achieves the best possible outcome. If you or your loved one is facing discipline from a high school connected to vaping charges, attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can assist you. Attorney Lento and his expert team has worked with countless students and their families across the nation to protect against false and unfair allegations and unreasonable outcomes. Attorney Lento believes firmly that everyone has the right to due process, regardless of the circumstances, and that students deserve to continue forward towards their goals without unreasonable obstacles placed in their way. Call today at 888.535.3686 or contact us online to learn more.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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