During Sunday’s Eye on KELOLAND, we brought you a round table discussion on vaping with Sioux Falls high school students. On Monday KELOLAND News caught up with three Sioux Falls School Board members to get their take on what students shared at that round table.
Most of the students at the round table attend Roosevelt High School, while one goes to Lincoln. These teens say 40 to 50% of students vape. Sioux Falls School Board President Cynthia Mickelson and Vice President Carly Reiter have similar reactions.
“I hear numbers in that range; it would not surprise me,” Mickelson said.
“That seems high to me, but I also am not the one walking through high schools every day and witnessing it myself,” Reiter said. “I do know that it has become an increasing problem for students and so it wouldn’t surprise me.”
The students say vaping hasn’t come up in a large assembly. Reiter and school board member Todd Thoelke point out that a big gathering might not drive the point home.
“An assembly would be one way to hit the masses, but maybe in their ad room classes, have an individual group of kids together, not individual, but a group of kids in a smaller setting,” Thoelke said. “I’m just not sure an assembly would, it would be as effective.”
“I don’t know that you capture the attention of everybody when you’ve got 2,000 kids sitting in a gym, and you’re talking about a topic, you’re not going to be I don’t think as effective as you would be if you had a smaller group of say, 20 to 25,” Reiter said.
Mickelson brings up how health education is going to change.
“Our health curriculum will be, is being amended at this time, and it will add obviously vaping as a new topic since the last time we updated the health curriculum, so that will be addressed in those classes,” Mickelson said.