SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — There has been an “alarming rate increase” in vapes with THC found in Sumner County Schools this year, according to Director of Student Support Katie Brown.
In response to the surge, the county is hosting an event Monday evening bringing together law enforcement, juvenile courts, school staff, and medical professionals to educate parents and discuss possible solutions.
“Last year by the end of September, we had 15 students that had consequences related to THC, and this year it’s more than doubled,” Brown said.
She said this is an issue schools across the state are experiencing, but they are organizing this event to hopefully reverse the trend.
“For adults who have some history or think they have an understanding of marijuana, this is not what they’re thinking of. This is not the same product that those of us who are adults now heard about when we were in high school,” Brown explained.
She said students are vaping “anytime that they think they can,” which includes in classrooms, hallways, cars, and bathrooms.
Brown said the use of these THC vapes has even lead to schools calling emergency services.
“Students are consuming more than they think they’re consuming, or they are using a new substance on themselves and they are having a medical incident. They feel like they’re sick or they’re passing out…we’re having to call EMS,” Brown said.
Sumner County has a zero tolerance policy for illegal drug use, which means students can be expelled for having these products at school.
“It’s easy to get,” she said. “There are lots of vendors that are selling to minors, even though it’s 21 and up, but they’re also getting them from home or sharing them among their peers.”
The event will be held Monday, Oct. 23 from 6-8 p.m. at 123 Cherokee Road in Hendersonville.