Reeds Spring High School hosts No Vape November, encouraging students to quit vaping
One Ozarks school wants its students to hand-over their vaping devices. During "No Vape November" at Reeds Spring High School, students will receive no consequences for turning-in a vaping device at school, not even a slap on the wrist.
Assistant Principal Dr. Brian Moler says the new approach to fighting the vaping epidemic is already making a positive impact.
"We're not calling parents. We are not disciplining. We're not doing anything. For this month, this is the opportunity for kids to turn it in and go on their way," Dr. Moler said.
In only four school days, students have already turned in 15 vapes voluntarily.
"Kids who want to get help, they don't really know where to go to get help and they don't know how to stop. But, with this, first of all, you're turning in your vape and you don't get any discipline. That's awesome," Reeds Spring Junior Ashlyn Schafer said.
Students who turn in their devices are even rewarded with a free t-shirt. Administrators say it sends the message district leaders address vaping because they care about students.
"We just wanted to take a different approach to that and show kids that we do care about their well-being, we're not here to get them in trouble," Reeds Spring Principal Dr. Isaac Sooter said.
He says the initiative is aimed at, first, helping students recognize their addictions.
"I've talked to some people who have vaped and, at first, it started as something they did to help with stress and now it's something they do constantly and can't stop," Schafer said.
Dr. Moler agrees, turning in the device could be the first step toward quitting and getting help.
"I don't want to hear about the Class of 2020, so many kids have died because of illnesses related to vaping later and know that we didn't do something to reach out and try to do something preventable," Dr. Moler said.
Reeds Spring administrators also hope No Vape November will open the line of communication between students and staff all school year long, encouraging teens to seek help if they have a vaping problem.