Juveniles caught face court mandated rehab
GLASGOW, Ky. – Barren County Schools are taking steps to stop the vaping problem they say is hurting many of their students.
Barren County High School says they caught over 200 students with vape products just last year.
With only 186 school days, this averages over one incident per day.
Youth Service Center Coordinator Shelly Thomas said, “It’s playing out on a very grand scale, and we can’t turn a blind eye to it. We’re not going to do that here.”
Barren County High School says to educate students not-yet addicted, but also to provide help for students already addicted, they asked the Barren County Court System to step in.
Going into this school year, the Barren County Attorney Office sent a letter to the parents and guardians of Barren County High School and Middle School.
The letter explains both the middle school’s and high school’s Zero-Tolerance Campus policy. Students caught with vape products will be recommended for a court mandated rehabilitation program. Each program will be tailored to the students’ individual addiction experiences.
Barren County Attorney Kathryn Thomas said, “It is not a court record. In fact it won’t be a court case. It will be a mandatory diversion with the court designated worker office. They will assess each child and then individualize their plan of action for each child according to their needs.”
Thomas wanted students and parents to understand that this first time public offense will not appear on a juvenile record.
At the school level, the Barren County High School Youth Service Center will make the most of the students’ three day completing in-school suspension. During that time, the Youth Service Center will educate the juveniles who they catch with vape products about the dangers vaping presents.
Shelly Thomas added, “Most of the time I can tell you that they are addicted [to vaping]. They admit that.…I have not met with one student that did not want to stop [vaping]…. So, we’re trying to provide something here to help them so that they can get to that recovery side of that.”