On Monday, January 9, 2023, the Okaloosa School Board held a workshop where Superintendent of Schools Marcus Chambers addressed the issue of vaping in schools.
- Chambers announced that the district is launching an anti-vaping campaign with the help of the school district’s new Public Information Officer, Catherine Card.
In his announcement, Chambers explained that Middle & High Schools in the district will be competing for a $500 prize for the best public service announcement created by students.
“Some of our high schools have already started some of their public service announcements and are trying to get the word out about that,” added Chambers.
In addition to the public service announcements, the district will be sending a letter to parents about vaping and Chambers told the board they are considering purchasing vaping detection devices as a deterrent.
- Chambers emphasized that the goal is not to “catch kids and get them in trouble,” but rather to serve as a deterrent and encourage students to think twice about bringing them to school.
He stressed the importance of keeping students in school and communicating with parents about the district’s efforts to address this issue. In regards to the vaping detectors, he said “we want to be in communication with parents on the front side before these go into action so they [parents] know specifically what we’re trying to do, which is help students and to keep students in school as well.”
- Chamber noted that approval of any vaping detection devices would need the approval of the School Board.
As for the student-led PSA campaigns, Public Information Officer Catherine Card told Get The Coast that the submission date is February 10, 2023. The prizes include:
- 1st place – $500
- 2nd place – $250
- 3rd place – $100
The Okaloosa County School District and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office will be working together to create targeted messaging for parents on the topic of vaping and the rules surrounding vaping at school.