Recap of Video
Good afternoon, AP. We have a problem, and we need your help! Vaping within our schools is out of control. So, parents, please pay close attention because this unfortunate enforcement will likely inconvenience some of you.
Until now, and partly in response to more recent Texas legislation, we have not engaged in criminal enforcement of tobacco and THC vaping paraphernalia in the school environment. Further, we’ve resisted turning our youngsters into youthful felons and introducing them into the criminal justice system. Many studies, and our own police experience, demonstrate that criminalization of youthful indiscretions often only makes matters worse for around 80% or so of those charged and institutionalized. Well, we cannot continue down this pathway. We’ve found a way around Texas legislation to enact enforcement, as is done in neighboring communities here in the Coastal Bend suffering from the same problem. Here is what to expect:
- First-time offenders will be documented by the APPD and disciplined by the school. All paraphernalia will be confiscated and destroyed. Criminal charges may result against parents if they’re found responsible for providing or making this harmful material available to their children.
- Second-time offenders will be documented by the APPD, disciplined by the school, and later summoned to appear in municipal court. If convicted or accepting a similar sentence, the offender will be fined, and likely ordered to take a vaping and drug awareness course, along with other court-ordered mandates like submitting to tutoring and/or writing an essay about the experience.
- Third-time and subsequent offenders will be detained or arrested, depending on their age. THC, in this form, is a felony offense in Texas. Adult students will go to jail and face strict enforcement from the San Patricio County District Attorney’s Office. If a juvenile, the child will be detained, processed, and referred to the San Patricio County Juvenile enforcement office and the San Patricio County Attorney’s Office. This enforcement level will be inconvenient and expensive, likely on the child and parents regardless of whether a juvenile or adult student.
With each new school year will come a new beginning for each student. This means those violations from the previous year will not follow you into the next school year. We don’t want our youth to feel discouraged or hopeless. After all, we adults all went through similar growing pains when we were younger.
AP, we need your help limiting or eliminating this issue in our school system. Unfortunately, there is no end-all solution to the problem, but we must all do our part. We have instituted this approach at the APPD in cooperation with our APISD partners.
I share this as a warning of what begins now!
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, AP, I am happy to hear and discuss them. Please email me via our website.
Thank you, Chief Blanchard.