KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — A Kingsport City Schools (KCS) letter to parents released Thursday cites “an alarming increase” in children using vaping devices and says some KCS students have actually been taken to area emergency rooms in recent months after vaping incidents.
The letter urges families “to discuss the dangers of vaping and consuming chemicals such as THC, Fentanyl and other substances” and notes with vaping devices “it is impossible to definitively know the content of the substance being consumed.”
In addition to KCS Superintendent Chris Hampton, the letter to “Kingsport Families, Students and Community” is signed by the city’s police, fire and emergency management chiefs and more than a dozen other local leaders.
The letter references children sometimes unknowingly ingesting substances “that contain extremely dangerous chemicals such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC” (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).
It also says that although KCS hasn’t encountered the highly dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl in vaping devices, “this dangerous synthetic drug is also being found throughout our community.”
The letter says multiple students have required medical treatment in response to vaping in recent months. It adds that KCS and the Kingsport Police Department are trying through the letter to alert the community about the presence of potentially laced vapes, “the dangers they pose, and how KCS will react if they are brought into our schools.”
The digital version of the letter includes a “fast facts” document about vaping and its medical risks. It was emailed to News Channel 11, which has requested quantitative data from KCS on the trajectory of vaping incidents over time.