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Sup't. Stepenosky Introduces Comprehensive LVUSD Plan to Address Student Tobacco Use

A Message from Dr. Stepenosky:

Over the past few months, LVUSD has been working on a comprehensive plan with the California Department of Justice, local law enforcement, and the greater community to utilize the $1,075,000 tobacco and vape use mitigation grant we received earlier this summer. After collaborating with these groups within the parameters of the grant, the District has developed a four-tiered plan designed to address tobacco use among students created by vaping and e-cigarette devices.

Our four-tiered plan is as follows:

Proactive Education: Every student at every school in Grades 4-9 will receive three lessons in each of the next two years from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's STAR (Success Through Awareness and Resistance) Unit. These lessons will focus on a developmentally appropriate curriculum related to the dangers of nicotine/e-cig/vape usage, coupled with strategies for avoiding peer pressure to participate in this risky behavior. The STAR Unit is coordinating with site principals to schedule these lessons over the coming weeks.

Deans of Student Safety and Wellness: LVUSD has hired two grant-funded full-time Deans of Student Safety and Wellness who will work with local law enforcement to support safety efforts, help with early intervention and discipline of nicotine-related incidents, and promote restorative approaches to discipline in an environment of high accountability/high support. Please join us in welcoming these new deans: Mona White and Marty Freel. The community can follow @LVUSDWellness on Twitter for health and safety updates, activities, and the ways our deans are advocating for the safetly of LVUSD students.

Administrative Hearing Panel: In conjunction with the grant, LVUSD has constructed an administrative hearing panel for nicotine-related offenses that involves Educational Services staff, law enforcement, the district attorney, and a social worker. Students who possess/use/distribute devices will be referred to the panel which involves a hearing at the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. The hearing could lead to discipline such as citation, suspension of driver's license, mandatory counseling, suspension/CHOICEs, mandatory nicotine/vape class, teen court, and/or mandatory parent group support.

Law Enforcement Stings and Prosecution of Illegal Distribution: Our deans will work to identify retailers and local dealers who are illegally distributing nicotine devices and products to minors. When patterns of illegal distribution are identified, a portion of our grant will be used to contract with law enforcement to prosecute illegal distribution/marketing.

Student safety remains in the forefront of our thoughts and actions every day. Our hope is that these efforts lead to comprehensive education regarding the risks, dangers, prevention, early intervention, support, and mitigation of this growing epidemic. 

Learn more about the risks e-cigarettes pose to youth and young adults – and access the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Office on Smoking and Health Parent Tip Sheet HERE.

 E-Cig Infographic