Students Train for Vape Out


The District is working to prevent students from vaping and using e-cigarettes, through the Suffolk County Department of Health’s “Vape Out! A comprehensive Vaping Prevention Program.”

The three-pronged program includes parent education, alternatives to suspension and teens teaching teens. An eclectic group of High School peer leaders from grades 9-12 were selected and participated in the full day leadership training, with the purpose to bring this knowledge to students at RMMS. During the training, students participated in an interactive match game and improv activity, small group activity, and practiced the four “Wow, Really?” questions that help deflect peer pressure. 

Superintendent of Schools Glen Eschbach, high school Assistant Principal Jeffrey Raymond and middle school eighth-grade English teacher Kathryn Forman were able to pull together 32 students from the high school to receive this training, which was led by John Martin, supervising public health educator for the Suffolk County Department of Health, and Bonnie Anderson, senior health educator for the Suffolk County Department of Health.

Raymond said they selected inspirational and charismatic students who are known to have a positive influence over their friends, to educate them about some of the dangers related to these e-cigarette products and then have them bring this knowledge into the middle school.

“Students are tired of hearing it from grown-ups, teachers, parents and administrators but when a 15-year-old peer comes down there to tell them what to do, they kind of perk up a little bit and then it sometimes has more impact,” Raymond said. “The ultimate goal is to get ahead of it down at the middle school to provide awareness and education to students before they start experimenting with these things that are being advertised.”

High school students are currently working on putting together 30-minute presentations that they will present to middle school students. They will be refining these presentations in the next few weeks before selecting a date and heading over to the middle school.