Goshen cracks down on student vaping |…


GOSHEN — Goshen Community Schools is cracking down on students with stricter consequences for students caught vaping.

Specifically, next year’s handbook policy, as noted at the Goshen School Board of Trustee’s meeting May 9, will state, “narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, alcoholic beverage, stimulant, depressant, tobacco, or intoxicant of any kind. Including tobacco related devices, imitation tobacco products, lighters, vaporizers, vapor cigarettes/pens, electronic cigarettes (E-Cigs), cartridges, and other electronic nicotine delivery systems.”

Information in the “Suspension and Expulsion” section, subcategory “A: Student Misconduct and/or Substantial Disobedience,” item 12 lists 5 possible consequences for such behavior.

For a first-time nicotine offense, a vaping education course is required and three-day suspension, which may be reduced if the course is completed. For a second-time nicotine offense, Goshen police will issue a $145 ticket and the school will approve a five-day suspension. For a third nicotine offense, a second ticket will be issued and the student will receive an expulsion referral. Any THC-related content results in expulsion referral and any selling of paraphernalia results in expulsion and also arrest.

The policy also punishes students for possessing substances or imagery that may look like drugs, cigarettes, vapes, or alcohol, although the handbook does not indicate whether or not the consequences are the same.

Policies are generally the same for all three school tiers, although protocols are more specific in the case of vaping incidents at the secondary school level.

Other changes to the handbook include the change in free and reduced lunch, changes to graduation exams, and volunteering changes.

If approved at the June 13 board meeting, changes go into effect for the 2022-2023 school year.

Other items:

  • Sonya Imus was approved as the new principal for Prairie View Elementary School. Imus will replace Mrs. Donna Wiktorowski, who will move to the Intermediate School as an assistant principal. In her 25th year of teaching, Imus is currently a Master Teacher at West Goshen Elementary.
  • Goshen Community Schools announced the 2021-22 Turn Around Award recipients at the May 9 board meeting. They are Peirsyn Zambrano, Chamberlain Elementary; Zackary Jones, Chandler Elementary; Lawson Green, Model Elementary; Bryson Waters, Parkside Elementary; Enrique Contreras, Prairie View Elementary; Sophan “Andy” Huon, Waterford Elementary; Noah Hershberger, West Goshen Elementary; Darion “DJ” Byrd, Goshen Intermediate School; Gabriel Stewart, Goshen Junior High School; Kiersten Rinehart, Goshen High School; and Fatima Aguilar, Merit Learning Center.
  • The Goshen Community Schools Board of Trustees will vote on changing the busing format to three-tier at their next scheduled board meeting at 6 p.m. June 13. School board members encourage the community to contact them with questions, concerns or support regarding the matter.
  • Goshen High School graduation is set for June 5.

Dani Messick is the education and entertainment reporter for The Goshen News. She can be reached at dani.messick@goshennews.com or at 574-538-2065.

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