The Allen Independent School District is putting parents and students on notice that the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping materials will not be tolerated.
On Monday, the district sent a letter home to the parents of middle school students, kids as young as 11 years old, that warns about the "growing trend among teenagers" and emphasizes the potential punishment in store for students who violate district policy.
"Students who are found to be in possession of tobacco or e-cigarette paraphernalia will face potential suspension and/or placement in an alternative setting. Students will also be referred to local law enforcement as a minor in possession of tobacco, which is a Class C misdemeanor," the letter stated.
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The Allen ISD already sent a similar letter to the parents of students at Allen High School, which is the largest high school in Texas, earlier this school year.
"Our goal is to partner with our families to support our students in making positive choices for themselves," the letter said. "Please have a conversation with your student about the dangers of e-cigarettes and the serious consequences that will accompany any student found in possession of a vaping device."
As of Sept. 1, the legal age to purchase, use or possess tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is now 21 in the State of Texas.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged people to stop using e-cigarettes amid an ongoing investigation into a series of at least 450 possible cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products that have been reported in 33 states – including Texas – and one U.S. territory.
Five deaths from severe pulmonary disease have been confirmed to be connected to the use of e-cigarettes, according to the CDC.