Jacob Hindman also contributed to this story.
As the vaping epidemic spreads across America, Riverside High School continues to struggle to raise awareness.
Last week, principal Tonya Williams held a morning meet and greet to discuss the dangers of vaping but was met with low attendance.
“I was very disappointed,” Williams said. “[I thought it] would be a pretty popular session with parents since it’s so rampant right now.”
School nurse Cheryl Parsons, who joined Riverside’s staff in September and was one of the few attendees at the event, said that two reasons probably led to few people attending.
“It’s during the day and parents have to work,” Parsons said. “[And the parents] don’t really understand how many kids do it and that their child could be doing it.”
According to Parsons, the parents who did attend “were surprised it could go all the way from the athletes to anyone in the schools.” Williams and Parsons will attempt another meeting with parents about vaping on Tuesday, November 19 at 6:00 PM that will feature a student panel.
Williams wants to make sure that all parents know about the dangers that come with vaping and it’s possible their child could be doing it behind their back.
She also plans on making sure school faculty is informed when it comes to recognizing the signs of a vape. In an upcoming faculty meeting, all staff will learn what a vape looks like and how to recognize the distinctly fruity smell.
To compliment Riverside’s crackdown on vaping, the article Vaping: the New Epidemic by Ikey Harrison in The Pirate’s Hook, highlighted several important facts about the health risks of vaping. A confirmed 18 deaths have been caused by vaping and thousands of people have been diagnosed with vape related illnesses. An anonymous student from RHS said “it doesn’t scare me at all.”