New Law Sends Hundreds of North Texas Students to Discipline Schools for Vaping

A new law in Texas is causing hundreds of students in North Texas to be sent to special discipline schools if they’re caught vaping on campus or within 300 feet of a school. This law came into effect on September 1st and requires districts to take strict action against students caught using or having e-cigarettes.

In the first four months since the law took effect, Dallas ISD reported 238 students and Fort Worth ISD reported 219 students sent to discipline schools for vaping incidents, including some elementary school students. The law doesn’t specify how long students must stay in these programs.

Originally, the law aimed to give districts flexibility in disciplining students caught with marijuana, but a last-minute change by the State Senate altered its scope.

Now, the law’s sponsor, Rep. Ed Thompson, believes it needs to be adjusted in the next legislative session to remove its zero-tolerance approach to vaping.

The law has faced criticism from anti-vaping advocates, like the American Lung Association, who argue that it doesn’t address the root causes of youth vaping and addiction.

They’re concerned that students caught experimenting with vaping are being placed with students who engage in more dangerous behaviors.

Despite these concerns, many students have been sent to discipline programs under the law. Dallas ISD requires students caught with vapes to attend a five-day substance abuse intervention program, while Fort Worth ISD mandates a day in a DAEP on-campus program for first offenses.

New Law Sends Hundreds of North Texas Students to Discipline Schools for Vaping

DAEPs are alternative education settings for students temporarily removed from regular classrooms for disciplinary reasons, according to the Texas Education Agency.

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Some districts have sought exemptions to create their own policies instead of complying with the law. Denton ISD, for example, amended its District of Innovation plan to address vaping issues on campus.

Overall, the law’s impact on student discipline and vaping rates continues to be a topic of discussion and concern among educators, parents, and advocacy groups.

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