Dear Grand Meadow Public Schools Community,
Our School District, like many other schools, saw a recent spike in incidents involving student vaping during the last school year. Although MOST of our students are choosing NOT to use electronic cigarettes (Vaping, JUULing), we can’t ignore the public health issue. We want to be prepared to address this issue during the new school year, but we need your help.
The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the issue, give you resources, as well as alert you to possible repercussions if your child engages in vaping on school property or at school sponsored extra-curricular activities. We take this issue very seriously due to the negative health effects vaping has on our students, their fellow students, staff and we want to make sure you are aware of the risks.
In October 2018, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) issued a health advisory, echoed by the U.S. Surgeon General in December 2018, regarding an epidemic vaping trend among teens. MDH reported that for the first time in nearly 17 years youth tobacco rates increased, largely due to the 78% increase in teen e-cigarette use.
Vaping (also known as Juuling because of the popular brand JUUL) is the inhaling and exhaling of an aerosol produced by using a vape device or electronic cigarette (e-cigarette). Vape devices have nicotine in them, as well as other chemicals like formaldehyde. The numerous health impacts from aerosolized products combined with the addictive nature of nicotine can have long-lasting impacts on youth brain development. We know using nicotine may make it harder for school-related tasks, such as learning and concentration. In addition, students may not be aware of the harmful effects of vaping. It is essential that we come together to equip ourselves with the knowledge and support systems necessary to help our youth in making positive decisions for themselves and their future.
As described in the school handbook, vaping on school property is prohibited. All students and parents/guardians sign off on this to acknowledge their understanding of the rules of our school. We are invested in addressing these serious vaping concerns, but we cannot do this alone. We encourage you to engage in meaningful conversations with your child(ren) about the dangers of participating in vaping culture. Did you know that in a recent student survey, 87% of middle/high school students felt their parents would think it was wrong for them to use e-cigarettes? Our goal is to partner with parents and the community to ensure our youth are healthy.
Please take a few minutes to learn more about vaping by reviewing the resources on the backside of this letter. Most importantly, we encourage you to have a conversation with youth in your life about this dangerous new trend. Thank you for your partnership in joining us to address this serious health issue.
GM Public Schools Principal
Resources for Parents:
Minnesota Department of Health: E-Cigarettes and Other Vaping Products
CDC: Know the Risks: Talk with Your Teen About E-cigarettes: A Tip Sheet for Parents
CDC: Electronic Cigarettes
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: What Parents Need to Know:
(Download a free guide about how to talk with your kids about vaping)
Videos about E-cigarettes/Vaping:
Twin Cities Medical Society: Vaping, What Parents Should Know (23:22)
CDC: Any Volunteers? The Risks of E-Cigarettes for Young People (00:30)
Minnesota Department of Health: PSA: What Parents Need to Know about the Dangers of E-Cigarettes and Vaping (00:28)
Presentations for groups or organizations:
The Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) has created an ADULT ONLY presentation discussing the dangers of vaping and how it affects a young developing brain. If your group, club or organization is interested in learning more please contact:
Community Health Specialist