New hall rules to stop JUULing are ineffective, backfire

September 10, 2018 — by Jeffrey Xu and Callia Yuan

New rules implemented by administration are ineffective and do nothing to curb the root of the problem.

The school recently implemented several new policies in order to curb JUULing during the school day. These measures go beyond the simple closing off of certain areas at lunch or other times. 
Sadly, these new policies still seem to have several loopholes that still allow students to JUUL on campus. Even worse, the measures create additional problems for everyone else — including those who do not JUUL (a huge majority of the school). 
However, this isn’t to say that students are without fault. In previous years, bathroom rules were based on an implied trust — students would ask to go to the bathroom, and teachers would honor their request, knowing they would behave appropriately. 
Student JUULers have broken that established trust by telling teachers they would be using the restroom, but instead, contacting their friends to JUUL together. 
Clearly, tf it weren’t for student JUULers, there would be no need for these bathroom policies, however rigid and ineffective they might be. The purpose of introducing the new color-coded flip flops is to prevent students from straying too far away from their classrooms, with each department using a different colored flip-flop. 
But the truth is that determined students will still find ways to JUUL. A student could also simply hide the flip-flop and say they have a free period upon being seen in the hallway by a staff member.
Another problem with using flip-flops as bathroom passes is that they’re unsanitary. Having every student carry the same bathroom pass whenever they use the restroom can cause a lot of needless germ-spreading. Both students and teachers alike have expressed their discomfort with carrying flip-flops to the bathroom, with some teachers supplying Clorox wipes specifically for students to clean the passes. 
A second new policy, requiring students to leave their phones in the classroom, will also do little to curb JUULing. The administration has justified this policy by claiming that some students enjoy posting videos of themselves JUULing on Snapchat. But, of course, preventing videos and trying to paint JUULing as “not cool” doesn’t actually address the real problem of nicotine addiction. 
Students who don’t JUUL can still be influenced by others and start JUULing even if they aren’t seeing videos during school hours. Collecting phones neither combats the actual problem nor stops communication among students. 
The reasoning behind this policy is also highly questionable seeing that administrators aren’t opening Snapchats of their friends JUULing and don’t know what the situation on social media is really like. 
Administrators have also said that not allowing phones in the hallways prevents students from texting and meeting their friends in the bathroom, but students can still coordinate with their friends before class and will not be affected by leaving their phones in the classroom. 
Confiscating phones might make bathroom trips a bit shorter by preventing students from playing games or checking social media, but if that were the problem, then the school might as well ban phones altogether. 
A bigger problem of these new hall policies, however, is that a majority of the student body who do not JUUL are still being affected by the actions of a small minority who do. The policies inconvenience both students and teachers and do little to prevent JUULing. 
With JUULs being about the same size as a USB, students will almost always be able to sneak them out of class. Short of rummaging through students’ backpacks and physical searches, it would be practically impossible to stop JUULing before it happens. 
Instead, the school should focus on the root problem: educating the JUULers themselves and getting them to break their habit.
Hosting more anti-drug promotional activities and events — not colored flip-flops and phone bans — is the best solution, and encouraging the anonymous reporting of JUULers will give them the help they need. By easing these overly rigid bathroom policies, the school can allow students to learn and do their business without interruption and inconvenience.
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