By: Clay Steward
At the start of the 2022-23 school year Greenville R-2 was informed on a new policy regarding vaping. This policy was developed due to the extensive use of vaping products within the Greenville School District. The former policy of a juvenile referral was ineffective, so after consultation with local stakeholders, this revised policy was developed and implemented to determine its effectiveness before being implemented county wide. The policy is enforced by law enforcement and the courts. It is a collaborative effort between the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, school officials, the prosecuting attorney, judges and the juvenile office.
Anyone possessing a vaping product, including but not limited to: battery sticks, cartridges, juices and vaping paraphernalia, will have charges referred to the Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The prosecutor’s office will mail a summons to appear in court. In addition, the subject will face school discipline. You will be charged for possessing a vaping product, even if you are “just holding it” for someone. This policy applies to tobacco and tobacco products, as well as vaping products. Possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia have different penalties. The policy has been implemented district wide, although in cases where younger elementary-aged (below 4th grade) children are involved, other strategies are used.
Upon arrival at the courthouse, the defendant and parents will enter the courtroom and wait their turn until their case is called. At this time, the defendant will approach the bench and listen as the judge formally advises the defendant of the charges. The defendant will have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. The Prosecuting Attorney will make a recommendation to the court and the defendant. The judge has the option to accept the recommendation or impose another sentence within the range of punishment allowed for the charge. The sentence ranges from fines, community service, substance abuse counseling and possibly juvenile detention. The punishment imposed by the court increases with each subsequent offense.
This policy is meant to enhance the health and safety of our children in school. When you get a vape from someone, you don’t know what’s in it. The juice could contain THC or other controlled substances. THC vapes have been discovered in Greenville schools. In addition, you could experience an adverse reaction to the chemicals in the juices and need to be hospitalized. There are cases where teens have died the first time they used a vape. This stuff is no joke and very dangerous. “One of my greatest fears in the school setting is receiving a call that a student has fallen out due to vaping.”, Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Donnie Robinson. There is assistance available if you feel you need help to quit vaping or other controlled substances. Robinson also stated that If you have information regarding students using vapes at school or any issue regarding school safety, come in and speak to him or Mr. Walk. It is said that any person who provides information to enhance school safety will remain anonymous.
The Greenville R-2 School District’s Resource Officer is Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Donnie Robinson. Robinson began his law enforcement career in 2003. Deputy Robinson came to the Greenville R-II School District as a School Resource Officer in 2014. Since that time, he’s obtained his Missouri School Resource Officers Association Advanced SRO Certification. Deputy Robinson has earned Instructor Certifications from: SEMO, MSHP, Dept. Of Homeland Security and Texas State University in Firearms, Tactical Medical Officer and Intruder Training.