Vaping has resulted in an increase of substance issues on Manteca Unified campuses.
That’s thanks in a large part to a device that looks like a USB drive that is popular with teens as it is small and easy to hide.
“The USB like vaping devices are little and hard to detect,” noted Manteca Unified Deputy Superintendent Roger Goatcher.
He added that school staff has been trained to know what to look for.
Until the vaping craze, Manteca Unified was enjoying double digit drops in substance and alcohol use on campuses.
The number of suspensions and expulsions from drug-related incidents on campuses dropped by 39.2 percent in the 2015-2016 school year compared to 2014-2015. There were 89 drug-related incidents in the 2015-2016 school year that ended with suspensions and 15 with explosions. In the previous year there were 157 suspensions and 14 explosions.
In the 2016-2017 school year there was 124 incidents of drug/alcohol use and possession on campuses for a 42 percent increase with most of that attributed to vaping. Of those 97 were at the school level. Vaping again led to a jump in substance issues last school year (2017-2018) with 199 incidents. That included 137 at high school campuses.
In the first three months of the current year, there have been 87 incidents with 54 at the high school campuses.
The board’s decision in 2014 to step up the use of Interquest, a canine detection agency, to do more random campus inspections is credited with reducing drugs on campuses. The dogs are at each school site at least once a month.
Suspensions are typical for the possession or use of drugs, tobacco or alcohol. Expulsions primarily involve the sale of drugs or repeat offenders.
Due to the extensive policies and procedures in place to deal with drug-related issued rarely do suspensions and expulsions reach the hearing level as they do in a number of districts as issues and consequences are extensively vetted with parents and guardians. Some interventions that are provided by district schools are drug awareness class through Point Break Services or counseling at school sites.
Based on state data, Manteca Unified student drug issues are on the low side when compared to similar sized school districts in California as well as many nearby districts. Vaping is a major issue in other California school districts as well.
The district emphasizes the importance of being drug free at an early age through participation in the national Red Ribbon Week program. This year’s effort wrapped up on Friday.
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