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LRSD Schools Are Vape-Free Zones

September 21, 2018

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Students, parents, staff and caregivers take note. All schools in the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) are vape-free zones and administrators now have disciplinary procedures in place should a student be found vaping on school property.

Henri Peloquin is an Acting Assistant Superintendent for LRSD. "Grade 9 students have been caught vaping at school. We want to put a stop to it on school property," he says.

While existing rules prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in LRSD, a new statement released to administrators lays out three possible consequences should a student be caught vaping in the school or on school grounds:  

  1. Confiscation of the vape (which will be handed over to parent/guardian).
  2. Meeting with school administration and students, parents/guardian to discuss expectations.
  3. Suspension from school (either in school or out of school suspension).


The new disciplinary procedures apply to all LRSD school property as of September 6th, 2018.

"Louis Riel School Division staff and administrators can discipline any students found vaping on school property," says Peloquin.

Unlike burning a cigarette, vaping involves heating up and inhaling an e-liquid or e-juice that is available at vape shops in multiple flavours. What is key is that e-liquids or e-juices can contain various levels of nicotine.

As of May 2018, the Government of Canada is now regulating vaping products sold in Canada via the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act. Most importantly for parents, it is illegal to sell or give vaping products to anyone under 18 years of age.

In October 2017, the Government of Manitoba enacted the Non-Smokers Protection Amendment Act (e-cigarettes), which, in addition to prohibiting the sale or offering of e-cigarettes and vaping products to minors, also prohibits vaping in places where smoking is currently prohibited, including enclosed public places and indoor workplaces.

The City of Winnipeg explicitly bans smoking on the premises of all schools.

Christian Michalik is the Acting Superintendent of LRSD. He says discipline is only one side of the equation. "We really want to dispel the myths out there that vaping isn't dangerous or doesn't contain nicotine," he says. "Many vape juices do contain nicotine. It is a highly addictive substance that has negative impacts on child development."

According to Health Canada, children and youth are particularly susceptible to the negative impacts of nicotine, which has been shown to alter brain development and can affect memory and concentration. It can also predispose youth to addiction and drug abuse.

LRSD held a vaping and drug abuse session with school administrators and a member of the Winnipeg Police Service this past August to help prepare schools for the change. 

For more information on vaping in LRSD, read LRSD's Official Statement on Vaping.

For more information on regulations and the health impacts of vaping, visit the Government of Manitoba and Health Canada.

-posted by Michelle Lancaster, Communications Coordinator

 
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