Julie Jones, principal of Goodyear’s Desert Edge High School, responded to questions regarding vaping at her school:
Q: The police chief and council members stated that vaping has been a serious problem at Goodyear schools, have you found that to be the case?
Jones: “Vaping became a serious problem for us last year. We were dealing with four-to-five vaping violations per week which resulted in out of school suspension. The majority of the vaping incidents involved marijuana oil; only a handful involved the flavored juices.”
Q: What do you think of the new ordinance raising the age to buy tobacco and vaping products to 21?
Jones: “I appreciate the city of Goodyear’s attention to this matter as it is having a huge impact on our schools. They have recognized it is a problem and are taking action to protect their community.”
Q: Part of the ordinance makes it a crime to vape or smoke on school grounds. How do you feel about this?
Jones: “Tobacco and drugs have no place on a school campus and the penalty for violating that expectation should be high. In order to get people to take it seriously, it becomes necessary for it to be elevated as crime. There are laws in place now but we still see businesses and individuals taking the risk because the consequences of their actions have not been big enough to deter them.”
Q: Do you have any events or specialists to help students quit smoking and/or vaping?
Jones: “We have held special grade level vaping presentations with our student resource officer (SRO) and five counselors leading the discussion. We have had advisory lessons regarding the issue. We have a social worker as well as a school psychologist available to students.”