Seminole County Public Schools takes legal action against JUUL

Seminole County Public Schools, along with others nationwide, pursues a lawsuit against JUUL

It looks like a flash drive, but its impact has been felt nationwide. JUULs and other e-cigarette manufacturers have helped create an epidemic that can be seen in the hallways and bathroom of middle and high schools.

Taking action to stop this, on Dec. 17, the Seminole County School Board voted to authorize Superintendent Dr. Walt Griffin to pursue an anti-vaping lawsuit, joining other school districts around the country planning to sue JUUL.

“The JUULing issue was brought to my attention about three years ago, and in my opinion, JUUL in particular marketed their products specifically for young adults and children,” Griffin said. “I think that we have a generation that can get addicted if we do not take actions.”

Prior to the board making the decision to take legal action, in November Griffin had a meeting with all the Seminole County principals, to make them aware that this was a possibility.

“My initial thought was good for us doing something that could make a difference. This is a major health concern that has touched way too many students and way too many schools,” principal Rob Frasca said. “If this is going to help us make an impact, then I think it is a good thing.”

After sitting down with a group of attorneys representing districts across the nation suing JUUL, Griffin liked what they had to say. He then brought it up to his five board members and recommended that the board pursue the lawsuit.

With a 4-1 vote, Dr. Griffin got the approval. The next step is for the lawsuit to be officially filed after negotiating from a contract with the law firm that will be representing Seminole County.

Palm Beach and Brevard counties are also joining the lawsuit. Plus, more than a dozen U.S. school districts are in the process not only suing JUUL, but other vape companies as well.

The goal of this lawsuit, for Seminole County specifically, is to help educate students about the health concerns related to vaping and to help prevent it.

“If we receive any dollars from the lawsuit it will be put into student JUUL prevention programs, we’ll do more health education relating to the dangers of JUULing, and I will buy more vaping [detector] devices to be put into schools,” Dr. Griffin said.

Vaping products are a big concern for public school workers and educators, especially after a year of catching students in bathrooms, rampant discipline problems on campuses and the ongoing research, health cases and concerns now being discovered and brought up due to vaping.

“My job is to protect our students and that is why I am doing this,” Griffin said.

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