ELECTRA (KFDX/KJTL) — A new law set to take effect next Friday, September 1, 2023, could bring a hefty punishment for students across Texas if caught with a vape or e-cigarette of some sort.
While House Bill 114 was signed by Governor Abbott back in June, some school districts may have already started implementing the new policy to start the school year to be ready when the law takes effect.
“The main thing was if we’re going to start school, we’re going to start school with the kids knowing the rules from day one,” Electra Independent School District superintendent Don Hasley said.
Those rules include House Bill 114, which states that students caught with any type of e-cigarette, whether using, in possession or delivery, are to be placed in a disciplinary alternative education program, or DAEP.
The law doesn’t take effect until September 1, but some school districts set the tone early to begin the school year on the right foot.
“We knew it was coming so the smart thing to do was to put into place, put it in our handbooks we put a little update out there on Facebook,” the superintendent continued.
While the bill requires students in violation to be placed in a DAEP, the text of the bill does not include how long a student should be placed in one.
Hasley said the length is based on each district’s policy. For Electra, it’s 30 days with a minimum review after 15 days.
Hasley said students missing in-class instruction is a concern for him.
“Sometimes, good ideas have other ramifications that we’re not taking into consideration,” he said. “It’s those of us on the other end of it that have to find the answers. This is a huge problem and I’m not going to minimize that at all, but you know, 15, 30, 45, 60 days out of the classroom, that’s a lot of time out of the classroom with your instructor.”
The district reportedly hasn’t had issues yet, but Hasley expressed they’ll work through the challenges as they come.
“We’re here to help the parents,” Hasley continued. “And so, when it comes to things like this, we’re going to try and educate as well as we possibly can about the dangers of things like that, vaping and many others.”
As this bill takes effect, Hasley said he is leading the district to prepare students for the future.
While the reporter for this story, Dylan Jimenez, attempted to speak with various parents’ stances on the new law, most parents chose to share their opinions off camera.
According to Jimenez, some parents agreed with it, while others agreed to some extent, saying getting caught one time and going to an alternative school is a bit harsh.
For a more in-depth look at Electra ISD’s policies for this upcoming year, please refer to the student handbook on the district’s website.