Parents, administrators discuss effects of vaping on students


The “Convapersation” in the library served as a way to inform parents about the new rising epidemic known as vaping. The event had a panel of expert speakers who answered questions and gave information on the topic.

Parents filled the school library, eager to hear and learn about the new epidemic among most high school students: vaping.

LZHS’s “convapersation” with a panel of expert speakers, police representatives, and school leaders addressed the negatives of vaping, the sudden rise in the epidemic, and tips and things to look out for as parents.

“Last year, from a vaping standpoint, we’ve only had about 19 incidents, however, this year already we’ve had 65 incidents where students have had vapes,” Matt Aiello, dean of students, said. “That could’ve been an incident where they’ve been caught using it or caught with possession of it.”

The Deans and security staff are working towards making the school the safest and most comfortable place possible for the students, where student safety is primary, and punishment is secondary, Aiello said.

“We’ve been able to give teachers the heads up as to how students are using [vapes] and what to look out for,”Aiello said, but he also added that parents can be a key to identifying vape use.

“Frequent bathroom breaks, if they go to the bathroom for extended periods of time, if students are congregating in one area, playing with their sweatshirts, the constant smell of something fruity, those are all good indicators that your child could potentially be vaping,” Aiello said.

The presentation also taught parents the basics of vape devices, including what they are, what they look like, and why they are considered dangerous.

“It’s a battery powered device that heats the liquid, which can contain nicotine as well as other flavors of vapor which is inhaled and exhaled by the user. They can be referred to as e-cigarettes, vape pens, e-hookahs, or also by the name of JUULs or PHIXs,” Danielle Ryan, Lake county community health specialist, said. “Nicotine is addictive and can harm adolescent brain development and some products claiming they don’t contain nicotine actually do. With the third generation vapes, it is very easy to conceal them.”

However, due to the more strict rules and more precautions being taken, there have been some positive outcomes, according to Aiello.

“The good news is after these changes,we’ve had no incidents in the last 4 weeks, and hopefully we keep seeing this improvement, hopefully we keep seeing progress, and hopefully we see that 65 number go down,” Aiello said.

Overall the presentation ran smoothly, and just as planned, according to Abigail Celli, dean of students. Celli explained that there are no current plans, however, to conduct a “convapersation” next year, despite the positive turnout.

“I really hope that the all the parents found it important and a good educational experience for them, and a way for them to have a really open conversation with their kids.” Celli said. “ I was so happy with our turnout and really great questions were asked [by the parents]. I hope that we can continue to be good educators for parents and students in the future.”