HELENA, Ala. (WBRC) - Shelby County schools are looking to get tough on those students who get caught vaping.
All school systems in Alabama have a zero tolerance of vaping. A new program seeks to get parents involved in warning them about the dangers of the smoking habit.
Compact 2020 out of Shelby County is launching a program called T3. It stands for Teens, Tobacco and the Truth. They want to get kids off of smoking, but they want them off vaping also.
"From what we are seeing, and the youths we talk to, it’s absolutely an epidemic and it seems to be getting worse,” Amanda Davis, a Compact 2020 Investigator said.
The T3 program is up and running for Helena schools in the Shelby County School System. After students are spotted vaping or with a vaping product, they are given a citation and ordered to appear before a judge who then orders the students and their parents to attend an educational program.
“It’s very similar to a speeding ticket. It would stay on your record.” Davis said.
But that ticket goes away if the student and their parents attend a two hour education program. The program seeks to inform the students of the dangers of vaping and to help parents spot signs if their child is vaping.
“It gives us the opportunity to build relationships with them. So when they decide they want to quit, they know they can come to us and we can help them with that,” Davis said.
The first such program was held this past weekend in Helena. Another meeting is planned in three months.