Heavy Consequences for Seeking a Buzz


Steven Aspera

Two students discreetly pass a “vape” under the table, staged.

Steven Aspera, Staff Writer

Want to attend prom, winter ball, or any other school-wide activity? Well then, don’t be tempted to use illegal contraband or carry it around.

Located on page twenty-four in the student handbook, the use of drugs, tobacco, and e-cigarettes are strictly prohibited.

“Overall, our primary concern is health and safety, so for me personally, it’s about caring for students and creating an environment where they learn what health, safety and respect looks like,” Freshman Dean Erin Regua said.

Disciplinary action would be immediately implemented if caught vaping or smoking on campus; however, it varies per circumstance and student.

Possible consequences with drastic effects may include: suspension, expulsion/dismissal, and withdrawal from prom and/or winter ball.

“There are two factors that we consider when taking disciplinary action – severity and frequency,” Regua said.

According to Regua, put simply, frequency refers to the amount of occasions a student gets reported for vaping or smoking on campus. The more a student gets reported, the more severe the punishment.

Additionally, quantifying the severity of an incident isn’t as obvious as one might think. When the administration looks into the severity of an incident, they consider how many students were involved, as well as the harm that the student caused to the community.

“Distributing vapes and weed, is in some ways, harming our community,” Regua said.

She continues to state that if the incident is a single-offender case, the personal story of the student is taken under close consideration. She used the example: if a student who lost a close relative, maintained good grades, had no previous infractions, and suddenly uses a vape as a way to release themselves, will receive a far different consequence than a repeated offender.

“It is common that many students that try to fit in, or to appear a certain way, resort to not only using devices’ like vapes, but also distributing them too,” Chellina Okimura from Hawaii Center for Children and Families (HCCF) said.

Acts of distributing vapes and marijuana are considered to be even more severe than personally using the device. Distributors are considered the instigator of the incident, in addition to breaking the federal law of handling and selling nicotine or Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to minors.

There are many types of e-cigarettes on the market nowadays, ranging from a disposable device with a predetermined amount of “hits”, to complex mods and devices which can be reused and charged.

The amount of nicotine used also varies from device to device. But no matter how little nicotine is used, commercial devices will still hook young users, even with a minute dosage.

The sizes of each device range on a spectrum of large to small. However, if creative enough, each device can be hidden or concealed from authorities. Which may tempt students to partake in activities such as vaping.

“I definitely know people who vape and smoke, and I personally feel bad for them because they are wasting their money and health just to feel some kind of buzz, which could lead to drastic consequences,” Senior Zachary Orr said.