Blackford County school concerned about students vaping THC products

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HARTFORD CITY, Ind. — There’s a growing concern across the country as six deaths are now linked to vaping. According to the CDC, people with lung injuries reported vaping with THC.

It is a trend a high school in Blackford County is familiar with.

Principal Scott Shimer believes what is happening in his school is scary. He does not want students to inhale this stuff. Last week, the FDA urged people to avoid THC-containing vaping products too.

Shimer said they noticed students using e-cigarettes on school grounds more than a year ago. In December, he said they noticed a new craze in vaping. He found some students were putting THC in their e-cigarettes. THC is the main high-inducing ingredient in marijuana.

“We are scared. We do not want any of our kids doing anything that is going to hurt them,” he said.

He said students’ heart rates escalate and they sweat profusely after smoking it. Shimer said the school even suggest medical help for students last year after they complained of high heart rates.

“I believe they do not understand what is going on,” Shimer said. “They don’t know this high content of THC is not like what we used to see with bags of marijuana.”

On the streets of Blackford County, the sheriff’s office is catching more cannabis vaping products too. They think people are buying this stuff out of state or online.

“The cases we are seeing, we do have specific packaging,” said Deputy Chief Jim Heflin. “Looks like they bought it from a shop.”

Deputy Chief Heflin said he’s noticing the potency of the liquid THC is way above typical levels.

“Somewhere in the 80 percentile and somewhere in the mid 90s,” said Deputy Chief Heflin. “Compare that to the marijuana you see in the streets which is roughly around 20 percent.”

Shimer said most of the kids tell him they buy the THC products online.

“You need to make sure you know what is going on with what you are using,” Shimer said.

Shimer said they are taking steps to address this. They have trained their teachers to recognize certain situations and look for strange behaviors.

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