Parents express concerns about smoke shops near Langham Creek High School

March 25, 2013 6:42:10 PM PDT
A group of parents is expressing concerns about smoke shops near a local high school. Residents in Copperfield say those shops are a bad influence on kids, and they want the places shut down.

Along a busy stretch of FM 529, ubiquitous strip centers are dotted with several smoke shops. Unobtrusive for some, but others see it as a serious hazard to area high schoolers.

"They're concerned about things happening he community, they're legitimate concerns," said Cy-Fair ISD Police Chief Alan Bragg.

Chief Bragg has been approached by a group of homeowners about their concern. They point out that the smoke shops are located within walking distance of Langham Creek High School and can be a problem distraction for high school teens.

"As long as you kind of look of age, they'll sell it to you, otherwise they ask for ID," said Carlos Figueroa.

He says he knows classmates who frequent the smoke shops, but says they're perfectly legal.

"I don't think they can close them down. They keep opening more and more. It's like Subway; they keep opening them up, too," Figueroa said.

He has a point. Chief Bragg says closing these legal shops down will be difficult. And if that's possible, it's constantly a challenge to keep teenagers focused on school.

"Whether it's the pizza place, the donut shop, or the smoke shop, any time that might draw kids away from school time, make them truant, that's one issue for us," said Chief Bragg.

The homeowners tell us they know it's a challenge to close down the smoke shops, but say they are working with law enforcement to make it happen.

We worked on this story with our partners at Houston Community Newspapers. You can read more in the Cypress Creek Mirror.

Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices