North Star Take: FHSD should take the fight to Juul [Editorial]


By On Behalf of the Editorial Staff

The Francis Howell School District has decided to join other school districts around the country to sue the e-cigarette company, Juul Labs. The decision was brought forward to the board by their lawyer, Cindy Ormsbry. After the federal government released a statement saying that Juul Labs advertises towards underage kids and the rapid spike in e-cigarette related offenses in the school district, FHSD didn’t want to leave Juul unpunished.

The Editorial Board is in support of the Francis Howell School District. FHSD has done the most they can do with trying to keep the students away from e-cigarettes. They have tried to prevent them from being used by under-age kids with their health effect warnings and have tried to help students with nicotine addictions.

According to Ormsbry, the district has spent an excessive amount of their time and resources trying to take care of this e-cigarette epidemic. After a spike from around 50 to 280  e-cigarette infractions within the school district, the board has taken action to fix the underlying issue of nicotine addiction. Figuring that detentions and suspensions don’t work, they have spent excessive resources to hold information programs for their students and enforcing a new drug policy.

None of the funds from the lawsuit are coming from the taxpayers or the district either. If there is any recovery from a settlement or after a trial, the legal fees will be paid out of that settlement, but there will be no funds and no taxpayer funds to pay for the lawsuit.

Although this lawsuit does punish Juul Labs, FHSD will not blame Juul for students being caught with vapes on their person. The student is still held accountable for their behavior. The student will be punished with in school suspension and will be go through programs to help with their nicotine addiction.

The district’s end goal of the lawsuit is to get reimbursed for the issue they didn’t create, but that Juul did. FHSD wants the funds reimbursed to them that they had to use towards the vaping problems they have had over the past three years. They want to be able to pay for the programs and rehabilitation that is used and the administrators and professionals that help as well.

If no actions were taken before this, the lawsuit would seem impractical. But FHSD has spent time and finances trying to fix a problem that they didn’t create for their students. Juul has created a mess that FHSD has had to clean up for the past three years. The district isn’t using their own funds to pay for the lawsuit, they have tried other ways to fix the problem, they aren’t blaming only Juul, but also the students; FHSD has all their I’s dotted and all their T’s crossed.

The district cares about their health and well being of their students. If they win this lawsuit, they are hoping to be able to cure this vaping epidemic once and for all with the resources they will be able to provide, including rehabilitation programs and help for the students’ addiction with nicotine.