In the District’s ongoing efforts to prevent and address vaping, the Family Engagement Center is partnering once again with SOMS PTA to co-host an educational workshop to increase vaping awareness among parents on Tuesday, January 10 at 7PM in the SOMS Library. Parents of students at all grade levels are invited to attend.
“Substance use among middle and high school students is not just a problem at school. It is a community issue which requires a coordinated and collaborative community response. The aim of these workshops is to support families by providing them with the knowledge and resources they need to take action at home,” said Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services Karen Tesik, Ed.D.
According to the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey, roughly 1 out of every 7 high school students and 1 out of every 30 middle school students reported current e-cigarette use. Among youth who are current e-cigarette users, 27.6% reported daily use, while more than 40% said that they used e-cigarettes at least 20 of the last 30 days. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development.
“Vaping continues to be a concern, even at the middle school level,” noted South Orangetown Middle School Principal Chad Corey, Ed.D. “Substance use prevention is an important part of our health education and student support program and we appreciate the support and partnership of our PTA and FEC in helping to educate our families and community.”
“Parent awareness is a critical component of our efforts to combat the vaping issues we are facing at the high school,” Tappan Zee High School Principal Rudy Arietta said. “I urge all parents to seek out resources to educate themselves on this student health issue. When we identify resources, we will share them so that parents can have informed conversations at home.”
The District first launched community forums to engage parents as partners and raise awareness of the national substance use crisis among youth in 2017. Since then, the District has hired prevention counselors Bobbie-Angela Wong (SOMS) and Annie Scott (TZHS) to strengthen student-directed substance use education, prevention, intervention and counseling efforts. Vape detectors installed at both schools last winter have enabled administrators and counselors to more effectively identify and address students vaping in school.