According to the CDC, nearly 44% of high school students are using e-cigarettes, or “vapes.” But what happens when your school catches you vaping? Can you get into trouble? What if you were vaping off-campus and a teacher or administrator simply saw you? What happens if you were vaping nicotine but your school accuses of you of vaping marijuana or THC?
What Is Vaping?
Vaping is a device that heats up a liquid to create a vapor that is then inhaled. In recent years, cigarette companies have shifted to creating vaping cartridges in addition to cigarette packs. The idea is that vaping is less noxious than cigarette smoke, so cigarette users find it easier to use in public. But vaping is just as addictive, if not more addictive, than cigarette use, and because many vaping cartridges are made with various flavors that seem to market to the younger generation, more and more underage students are partaking in the habit.
Can Your School Punish You for Vaping?
The answer to this question is not so simple. If you are vaping on school grounds, you are violating the school's no-smoking rule at a minimum. Public schools across America are non-smoking areas, so smoking anything is highly controversial. Vaping is still smoking, and if you get caught on campus, you will be punished. Specific punishments will vary from high school to high school, but usually, it will include some form of detention, suspension, or expulsion (if the act was especially egregious or not a first-time offense).
Now, what happens if you are caught vaping off-campus by a school official? Can the school punish you? Probably not. Most vaping and smoking laws are tied to the school grounds, so if you are not caught there, there is very little a school official can do. But this doesn't mean that a police person or someone else couldn't punish you for underage smoking.
Vaping and Marijuana Allegations
Often the most significant concern involved with school vaping allegations is that the student is accused of vaping a controlled substance or drug, such as marijuana or THC vape oil. Often school officials make such allegations with little or no proof that the student was vaping anything other than flavoring or nicotine (as arguably regrettable as nicotine itself may be to vape). When drug use vaping allegations are made, high school students can find themselves facing severe consequences, often including expulsion and placement in an alternative disciplinary school, which, for any student, can lead down a path of compounding problems.
The unfortunate reality is that any high school student can find themselves falsely accused of vaping marijuana or THC based on mere conjecture. Whether a high-achieving "A" student headed for a great college on an academic scholarship, a student athlete starting in Friday night's game, Mr. Popular, or a quiet student who keeps to themself, the stakes can be high when baseless allegations are made at schools that can be quick to turn a blind eye to due process. That is why professional help is needed, and preferably as early as possible in the school disciplinary process.
How an Attorney Can Help
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are highly experienced attorney advisors who have helped hundreds of high school students and parents across the United States who have found themselves in your shoes. They will work tirelessly to gather evidence and witnesses to advocate on your behalf. Getting caught vaping on campus can have severe consequences on your future. For instance, if you are suspended or expelled, those punishments will be placed on your transcripts and potentially reported to your future college. Punishments such as these can force colleges to rescind your admittance or place you onto conditional probation before you even begin classes there.
Don't lose hope, though. Attorney Lento and his expert team will fight for you. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation. You do not have to go through this alone, nor should you. Call our offices today.