Volume # 7
December 2017
In order to assist you as the primary educator of your children, we have committed to providing you with three Pillar in Action newsletters a year. Each of these newsletters will follow a specific theme that ties to one or more of our mission pillars. The content of these newsletters is created by the faculty and staff of BFCCPS.
If you have any questions or would like further information on any of the information included in this newsletter, please contact Mrs. Zolnowski. Previous issues are archived here

E-Cigarettes and Vaping: 

This year, our first edition of the Pillar in Action Newsletter is focused specifically on your role as the Parent as Primary Educator. We'd like to engage the school community in a conversation about a  growing health concern; the prevalence of e-cigarettes, commonly known as vaping. You can read more technical details about vaping in this article.
Since we are a school for students in Kindergarten through Grade Eight you might think this isn't a concern for students this young.  However, we know that this is a growing trend in our local community. 
We have heard from alumni who are currently in high school that these devices are readily available. Our school's medical doctor and other local health professionals confirm that middle school students in our area are actively vaping as well. 
Students of any age may be aware of vaping through social media, witnessing first hand people vaping in the community, from older siblings or neighbors, and may even have seen devices for sale at local stores.  

An article on WebMd reports the following:  
  • In 2011, less than 2 in 100 high school students said they used e-cigarettes. By 2015, 16 out of 100 had.
  • More than 3 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2015, up from 2.46 million in 2014.
  • In 2015, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among students in middle and high school for the second straight year.
With popular flavors based on candy and ice cream, the manufacturers are clearly targeting use by minorsChildren may mistakenly believe that vaping the flavors without nicotine is not dangerous. However, even without nicotine chemicals used to create the aerosol can be harmful to your  health. " Diacetyl has been linked to a respiratory disease called bronchiolitis obliterans. Also known as ' popcorn lung  ,' it first appeared in workers who inhaled artificial butter flavor in microwave popcorn processing facilities." 
Once the vaping habit is established, the device can also be used to vaporize more dangerous materials including alcohol, THC and Spice (synthetic marijuana).  Shockingly, an  article recently published in Rolling Stone referred to a weed vape pen "elegant, discreet and nearly odorous." 
It is our hope that working together, we can prepare our students to exhibit the virtues of   Justice, Prudence, Fortitude and Temperance   to resist the temptation of use and to encourage their friends to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well.

Vaping Devices:

The devices are so small and discreet that it's possible that parents might not even realize what they are. They can resemble a USB drive or pen and are easily hidden.

Devices may be purchased online, a  recent news report  from Fox25 Local News even indicates that some online sellers only require the purchaser to click a box indicating they are over 18.  

Historically cigarette smoking has a lingering scent on users breath and clothing. It is now harder to detect use as e-Cigarettes generally do not have a residual odor. Additionally, YouTube videos have been published showing users how to blow the vapor inside the neck of their sweatshirts to vape discreetly. 

Please note that even when not in use, these devices can be dangerous.  For example, in mid-October a vape pen inside a backpack inadvertently ignited causing a fire on a bus to Blackstone Valley Tech. 

We invite you to read  5 Signs Your Child Might be Vaping for more information.

Know the Risks 

The following document from the CDC and the Surgeon General will be be a great resource for parents with children of any age.

Positive Family Ties

Research from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) indicates that students with strong family ties are four times less likely to have tried tobacco, four times less likely to have tried marijuana and three times less likely to have tried alcohol. 

As your child's Primary Educator we strongly advise maintaining a family dinner tradition as often as possible.  This doesn't have to be an elaborate event, but quality time discussing the events of the day and maintaining a positive connection with your children.  "A child who feels you are available will be more likely to come to you with questions about drugs or challenges with peer pressure of other situations that make them feel uncomfortable." (US Drug Enforcement Administration) 

How to Discuss With Your Child

Tell your children exactly how you feel about smoking/vaping, drug and alcohol use and your expectations. Some sample verbiage from the US DEA's publication titled Growing Up Drug Free: A Parent's Guide to Prevention is available below:
  • "I want you to have fun and enjoy this time in your life, but I also want you to stay healthy because I love you."
  • "I know you may be tempted to try drugs, but I also know you're really smart. That's why I expect you to stay clean - no matter what your friends do."
  • "It scares me to know how easily you could damage your brain or get addicted to something.  Will you give me your word that you won't try things just because the people you hang out with try them." 
Help your child develop and even role-play strategies to say "no" to an offer or resist peer pressure. 

Provide opportunities for your child(ren) to be involved in sports or other activities.  These positive experiences establish connections in the community, and give children a reason to stay drug and alcohol free.  As an added benefit these activities can boost their self esteem and reduce stress!  

Join us on the BFCCPS Parents Facebook Page, we'll be asking for recommendations your favorite local sports and activities! 

Be involved! Know who your child is hanging out with, where they will be and what they are doing.  While this is obviously easier with younger children, it becomes more difficult as they get older.  You can meet other parents in the community through volunteerism , attending family and parent socials etc.

Did You Know? 

The Franklin Police Department offers a sharps collection and a depository for old and unwanted medications at in the lobby. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The FPD is located at 911 Panther Way  Franklin. 

You can also find a list of disposal locations in your area here

BFCCPS  | 508-541-3434 | bfccps.org