Trenton Board of Education addresses issues with electronic cigarettes and vaping

Trenton R-9 School District

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education approved early graduation requests for Kaitlyn Owen and Emma Rorebeck on Tuesday evening.

Bus routes were approved with Director of Supportive Services Kris Ockenfels reporting there are 10 regular bus routes and three special education/preschool routes, which is the same as last year. He said there are enough drivers to cover all of the routes this year.

The board approved the full maintenance service agreement with the Missouri School Boards Association for $3,479. Board Secretary Susan Leeper said this year’s membership costs the same as last year’s. The membership grants Trenton R-9 the services of the MSBA through August 30th, 2020. Services provided will include monitoring state and federal law, assisting in updating policies and procedures, reviewing monthly board minutes, advising on policy-related topics, maintaining a current copy of district polices, and provide legal reviews of forms at the request of the district.

Superintendent Mike Stegman talked about what administrators at Trenton High School and Middle School are doing about electronic cigarette use and vaping. He said Trenton High School Principal Kasey Bailey told him students leave backpacks in lockers to cut down on taking contraband to class. Restrooms and locker rooms are randomly checked, and teachers monitor restrooms between classes.

Students caught with paraphernalia are disciplined according to the tobacco guidelines in the handbook, which includes three days in In-School Suspension. Stegman noted things Trenton R-9 could do, including installing detectors, sensors, or metal detectors. He said some vaping devices can contain marijuana or cannabis.

Discipline could be interpreted for possession of paraphernalia under drugs/alcohol guidelines instead of tobacco, which would include one to 10 days in Out of School Suspension with a referral to the superintendent. Informational sessions could also be held with parents and stakeholders during parent-teacher conferences and with school staff. Board member Marcie Cutsinger suggested asking the student council to help come up with ideas. Stegman called electronic cigarette use and vaping “an epidemic.”

Information was shared on drills in the district. Fire, tornado, and intruder drills have been held at Trenton Middle School and High School. A tornado drill will be held at S. M. Rissler Elementary School Thursday, a fire drill September 18th, and an intruder drill will be September 25th.

Rissler Principal Tiffany Otto and Assistant Principal Adriane Todd talked about Positive Behavior Support changes at the school. They include classes doing good things to color in paw prints on a chart and having a party when all of the paws are colored in. Todd said there are still individual “shout outs,” too. Otto noted she asked teachers to come up with ways for their classes to give back to the community through Positive Behavior Support.

The board entered into a closed session for personnel.