Valley Center school district considers legal action against e-cigarette maker

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VALLEY CENTER, Kan. The Valley Center school district this week decided to pursue possible legal action against an e-cigarette maker.

The USD 262 school board Monday night approved a resolution directing the school district's superintendent, Dr. Cory Gibson, and the board's attorney to pursue legal action against Juul.

The Ark Valley News reports from district officials that "the rise of vaping among students at Valley Center High School is alarming."

The north Sedgwick County newspaper says the school "is mounting a vigorous campaign to address the problem," and legal action is part of that effort.

Last year, The Ark Valley News reports from district officials that there were 26 behavioral referrals regarding e-cigarettes and just four months into the 2019-2020 school year, there have already been 19 such referrals.

Valley Center High School Principal Jaime Lewis tells the newspaper there is also an issue at the middle school where administrators have handled eight behavioral referrals this year regarding e-cigarette usage

The school board's resolution allows the district to work with a local law firm to pursue the possible legal action.

The Ark Valley News reports the Valley Center school district's resolution says student use of Juul e-cigarettes has created “substantial disruption” to the district’s educational mission, has resulted in the “diversion of substantial resources to address and prevent such use” and “poses a significant risk to the health and well-being” of students."

In September, the Goddard and Olathe school districts announced they were pursuing litigation against the manufacturers, distributors and sellers of electronic cigarettes and vaping products.