ADAMS TOWNSHIP — School Resource Officer Danny Wood is visiting Clinton-Massie Middle School classes this week and next to talk with students about vaping and e-cigarettes.
And Officer Wood and Middle School Principal Lorinda Ottaway are creating a virtual informational meeting for parents on the topic of vaping. They hope to offer it in April.
Vaping devices are popular among teens and are now the most commonly used form of nicotine among youth in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Some research shows that many teens don’t realize that vaping cartridges contain nicotine, and assume the pods contain only flavoring.
In addition, vaping devices are easy to hide from teachers and parents because they don’t leave behind the stench of tobacco cigarettes, and are often disguised as flash drives, the NIH states.
Nicotine, of course, is a highly addictive drug. Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations intended to protect the health of young Americans, minors can no longer buy e-cigarettes in stores or online.
Ottaway presented a report to the school board Monday. She said the restorative practices approach is becoming an actual part of the discipline policies at the middle school.
Restorative practice is a strategy that seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged, including those damaged through bullying.
Last week a student came to Clinton-Massie Middle School educators, thanking them for the work they did with her relating to a situation where she was a victim of some hate speech, Ottaway said.
The girl said she felt empowered through the restorative circles activity, and the situation with the offender has gone from a negative to a positive.
“They are actually working on a project together. She wanted us to know that,” reported Ottaway.
With the circles technique, students and their teacher sit in a circle and, for example, students can just say how they’re feeling. The teacher might start with lighter questions, and work up to more serious prompts.
According to a written report from the high school, staff there has started to make arrangements for graduation on campus aiming at an outdoor format on the football field.
“We will continue to work with the Senior Advisory Board to create a memorable and safe graduation experience to recognize all of our graduating seniors and involve our families and staff,” the report states.
District Treasurer Carrie Bir noted that new Clinton County real estate values established for a state-ordered triennial update has provided a boost to the school district’s revenue. The state ordered an average increase in real estate values for Clinton County of 22 percent, as published last September in the News Journal.
On another front, school board President Jeremy Lamb said one outcome of the district’s ongoing strategic planning process is the board’s goal to talk more about higher-level things than it has in the past.
A belief for the board has emerged, Lamb said, namely that the board needs to take a step back and start focusing on the five- to 10-year picture rather than a one- to two-month picture.
In brief, the board of education is a policy making body. It delegates the administration of the district to the certified staff headed by the superintendent.
Or, as Lamb puts it, try to have board members spend more time in board meetings on bigger-picture items, and less time on day-to-day things.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.