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Western Kentucky district to make vaping on school grounds a criminal offense

A western Kentucky school system is taking a zero-tolerance approach to vaping products. Vaping on school grounds in Christian County will now be a criminal offense.

Under a new policy adopted on Monday by Christian County Public Schools, any student in possession of a vape will be cited by law enforcement for drug paraphernalia. If the vape contains a controlled substance, the student will also be charged with drug use, possession, or distribution.

“In middle and high school, students go through critical changes in their developing brains," said Kim Stevenson, Director of Alternative Programs for the district. "Nicotine and other controlled substances impairs the growth of neurons and directly harms the portion of the brain responsible for learning, memory, and attention.”

Sometimes, vapes are laced with fentanyl, which is deadly in the smallest amounts.

According to Christian County Public Schools, 255 students were caught with vaping products containing nicotine and 101 with vapes containing a controlled substance in the past year.

The zero-tolerance policy will take affect at the beginning of the new school year in August.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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