It’s discreet enough to hide in your pocket for an extended “bathroom break”, about as eye-catching as a flash drive, and as quick as a puff of smoke. In the end though, it’s a quiet killer. It’s a juul, and it’s sweeping the hallways of high schools around the country.
Unlike alcohol or older drugs/methods of ingesting drugs, juuling just appeared on the scene a couple of years ago as a new form of e-cigarette. While originally meant to aid smokers off regular cigarettes, juuls have become surprisingly popular among teenagers, who don’t let school stop them.
As juuling is a recent development, it’s not uncommon for adults to mistake a juul as a flash drive or the sweet smell as perfume, making it more difficult for teachers and administration to identify and prevent. However, MN has taken steps to deter students from engaging in the potentially detrimental practice.
“We have made teachers aware of what juuls look like, and have increased our consequences for possessing and using e-cigarettes,” Assistant Principal Aaron Bearinger said.
Earlier this year, Bearinger discussed juuling during the handbook talk, where he mentioned the punishments for students juuling: a one day Out of School Suspension for possession and a two day Out of School Suspension for use on school grounds.
Besides the administration doling out punishments to deter students from juuling, the Family and Consumer Science Department is tasked with taking proactive steps. Through education of its harmful effects and heavy impact on one’s future, they are shutting juuling down before it even reaches the hands of students.
“The first step is education. Here in the Family and Consumer Science department, we are doing as much as we can to help students understand that juuls and e-cigarettes are not a healthy alternative. I’ve had many students share what they learned in my class with siblings and relatives who use these products,” Healthy Living teacher Amy Breiter said.
Rarely do teenagers take up juuling themselves; often times, they’re introduced to it by friends. Then, either because of peer pressure or pure curiosity, they typically pick it up.
“My friends juuled a lot and I used their Juuls, so I decided that I’d just get my own because it’s more convenient. And so when I got my own I started doing it more,” an anonymous student said.
It is this type of behavior, jumping on the juuling bandwagon, that is at the heart of our administration’s mission. Ultimately, they hope to save students’ health, and future, through what they do best: education.