House Bill 114 to institute vaping punishments

Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 7:10 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - On September 1, House Bill 114 goes into effect, this bill is a mandatory disciplinary placement for students caught on campus with a vape.

Whether a student is found using, selling, buying, or sharing an e-cigarette at school, they are simply asking for immediate consequences.

Author of House Bill 114, Representative Ed Thompson said it’s not in a student’s best interest to bring vapes on campus.

“I don’t think that the time is ever right for people to use those vape pens, but certainly the school is not the place.” House Representative Ed Thompson said.

With schools across Texas being in session for almost a month, the new bill will ramp up punishment for vape usage by school districts.

“Now it’s an automatic DAEP placement. So if you had a Tabaco pen previously what might have been ISS placement is now going to be an alternative school.” WFISD Chief of Police Anthony Smith explained.

Rep. Thompson revealed the issues of vapes on campus were found all over the state.

“This was something that all districts were having issues with as well so it proceeded out of committee and go on the house floor and we had a few tweaks over there and we got it passed,” Thompson said.

Before the bill, Thompson said some students were being sent to detention centers for obtaining the pens.

“They were sending a lot of these kids to the county to the juvenile justice program. That was taking up a lot of seats down there that are really for those kids that were more what I use violent offenders.” Thompson explained.

Officials added this will give students the wake-up call they need.

”I really don’t want those kids to be punished; with any sort of record. Or anything like that over making a mistake.” Rep. Thompson stated.

“I think it’ll assist with just having a standard. Students know that hey there are repercussions to having these e-cigarettes. It’s not just as simple as an e-cigarette, there are penalties for having those, and our ultimate goal is for students not to use them. " Chief Smith said.

Chief Smith wanted to emphasize the message not only to students, but parents as well.

“Accountability, it starts at home. We shouldn’t be providing vapes to students. We shouldn’t be allowing them to use them; it always starts at home.

Chief Smith said the length of punishment for the possession of a vape has not yet been confirmed by WFISD.