In filing the suit, the Freehold Regional High School District is joining about 130 others across the country in suing Juul and Altria. The suit alleges that some of the students enrolled in the district’s six high schools “have demonstrated anxious, distracted and acting out behaviors, causing disruption and diverting staff resources away from classroom instruction and requiring additional time and attention for addicted students.”
The district reported that during the 2018-2019 school year, there were 35 incidents of e-cigarette use or possession, noting that when a student is given detention for an e-cigarette infraction, detention proctors are paid about $37 per hour.
Demanding incurred expenses
“The negative health consequences for students of vaping are well-known,” the New Jersey School Boards Association said in an emailed statement. “The (NJSBA) is fully supportive of Freehold Regional High School District in this lawsuit, and would support any other district which might join the suit.”
“Like school districts across the nation, the Freehold Regional High School District witnessed the exploitation of our students at the hands of vape manufacturers, like Juul, who directly marketed their products towards children,” said Dr. Charles Sampson, the district superintendent, in an emailed statement.
“Subsequently, the use of marijuana and nicotine products reached crisis levels amongst teenagers,” the superintendent added. “We responded with training, equipment, and thousands of work hours geared towards changing the tide of poor decisions that companies like Juul actively cultivated amongst teens. We felt compelled to do our part in bringing this crisis to light.”
Other districts joining the suit
Last January, the Maine Township High School District 207 had joined the suit. The Board of Education of District 207, which includes all or portions of Park Ridge, Niles, Morton Grove, Harwood Heights and Des Plaines, voted unanimously to be part of the federal lawsuits which are being led by California-based Frantz Law Group.
Similarly last November, the board of education of the Aspen School District gave the schools the go ahead to join other school districts in their legal battle against Juul. “I was startled and saddened to learn that Colorado is near the end of the list for funding for public schools, but we’re at the front for the use of Juul products, and ski towns especially are hard hit,” said Superintendent David Baugh.