Tobacco policy prompts training

ELKINS — Staff within Randolph County Schools will soon receive training to prepare them to offer educational training to students who fail to adhere to the county’s new “Use of Tobacco by Students” policy.

Principals and school counselors in Randolph County will receive the training from Rebecca Vance, of the Randolph County Family Resource Network, to prepare them to offer classes to students.

The board voted earlier this year to make revisions to their “Use of Tobacco by Students” policy. and students will be required to take an educational class if they fail to adhere to it. The updated policy includes the use of tobacco-derived products, alternative nicotine products and/or vapor products by students on school grounds.

Superintendent Gabe Devono noted each student who violates the policy will be suspended for five days on their first offense or violation, and will not be permitted to return to school until the student and his or her parent complete the required educational class.

Vance said the class will provide education to both students and their guardians.

“A lot of the information will cover ‘this is what it looks like,’ ‘this is that they’re doing and why they’re doing it,’ ‘this is what studies show,’ and ‘this is how they’re getting it,'” she said. “This is so parents are aware of what they’re doing and how they’re getting it.”

Vance explained the class would offer information and guidance to students as well.

“I always tell our kids (about) the four D’s if they’re trying to stop using tobacco products — delay, drink water, breathe deep and use a distraction if you’re trying to quit, so we will go over those steps.”

Furthermore, Vance went on to say the class would provide information about where students can go to receive help.

“It’s not always as easy as ‘I’m going to quit smoking or ‘I’m going to quit vaping and be done.’ It may take some time; so, there are two resources they can use,” she said.