By Erin Jones

FRISCO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Next month, Frisco ISD will be rolling out a new youth electronic cigarette and vaping prevention program.

It was announced at a special parent meeting Wednesday night hosted by the district.

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The school district is one of several across the country stressing not only are these devices and vaping dangerous to a student’s health, but they also can come with criminal penalties.

Back in February, as school district leaders saw an increase in student vaping in middle and high schools, they started looking at different curriculums to combat this.

They chose “CATCH My Breath.”

“We are designed for grades 5 through12 and for each of those grades there’s a four-lesson curriculum,” CATCH My Breath’s Patricia Stepaniuk said.

Lessons consist of teacher presentations and peer-facilitated group discussions.

They hit on topics like health risks, refusal skills, criminal penalties and breaking social norms.

“I think it’s important to be proactive and not wait for the addictive symptoms to show up,” one parent said during the meeting.

Frisco Police said this couldn’t come at a better time.

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Their statistics show from 2017 to 2018 the number of times schools sent kids to them for e-cigarette and vaping possession doubled and hasn’t slowed since.

Officers stress how easily vaping devices can be hidden. They can look like watches, thumb drives and pens.

“It’s really easy to hide that stuff and that’s why a lot of these problems are happening,” Frisco ISD Student Joseph Graciano said.

There are a multitude of punishments and criminal penalties for bringing vaping devices and vaping on campus in Frisco schools.

Police said if THC is in the equation, a student could be expelled and face a felony charge.

An educational component will also be included.

District officials said the student will learn more about the dangers of vaping.


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Erin Jones