By: Kimberly Rivera, Lissete Cisneros, & Elmer Garcia
Over the past few months the use of wax pens has grown within the population of APB students as the trend began to grow on social media. This has become a growing problem over the years and has now peaked in use by students. The growing use of wax pen over the last 3 years has caused Principal Brian Reed to acknowledge its existence. This action is not only affecting the students but are also affecting their peers’ health.
But why has use of this device become so popular amongst students?
After extensive interviewing, some students shared their reasons as to why they smoke. During an interview, an 11th grade student was very open about their reason for smoking. How often do students partake in smoking during school hours? One student said, “I do it almost everyday, it isn’t that hard to get away with it.” Their response brought up more questions about how simple it is to get away with it. They continued, “… Yeah it really is [easy] all you gotta do is hide it somewhere where you can’t see it and make sure no one is around and just try to hide the smoke”. It’s interesting how students are able to get away with it and it’s happening under the staff’s supervision. Reasons for using wax pens during class vary; one student stated, ”I don’t know to be honest it’s like, why not?” they began, ”I tried it once I liked how it felt so I decided to get my own pen and just do it when I feel stressed or when I just want to relax.” Another student said, “I do it when I can’t understand a subject. When I smoke, it allows me to focus more in class when we have a quiz.” A part that really stood out was stress, turns out students smoke when they are stressed rather than just recreationally. But then we started to wonder, why at school? Are they not aware of the consequences if they were to get caught? An anonymous senior stated, “I’m not really scared to get caught because the most that they’ll do is take the pen because [the administrators] don’t want to get involved with the police.”
However, according to Mr. Reed, school officials don’t have a problem with bringing cases to the police. The involvement of the police depends on the “severity of the case” says Reed, “for example, if we find a student with 10 wax pens compared to a student with 1, then it is obvious that the student with 10 wax pens is the most severe”, because they’re selling. Regardless of how severe the case is there are some consequences that follow no matter what for example, Mr. Garcia, the campus security guard, explained that when a student is caught, “I take them to the office, we ask them, questions, search their belongings, after that we call their parents.” In most cases, students are given in-school suspensions.
The growing number of students using the wax pen has caused Mr. Reed to acknowledge that it has become a problem in our school. Therefore, students must realize that using the wax pen is not only breaking the law both in school and in general public. Understanding the health risks should be enough to prevent students from using wax pens during school and school staff will not allow this to continue.