HISD looks to get around new state vaping law under its new designation as 'District of Innovation'

Chaz Miller Image
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Why Houston ISD wants rules to be relaxed for students who vape
As a "District of Innovation," Houston ISD can get around certain state laws, and it's trying to do just that with one that deals with vaping.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The State of Texas has a new law when it comes to students and vaping.

Those caught possessing or smoking an e-cigarette on campus are automatically sent to an alternative education program as a result of the legislation.

The Houston Independent School District is looking to change that thanks to its new designation as a "District of Innovation."

Becoming a DOI allows the district to get around certain state mandates such as this one.

RELATED: HISD's new classification of 'District of Innovation' allows them to bypass state education demands

Houston ISD is now considered a District of Innovation, which means they will be exempt from upholding certain state requirements for education.

The district wants to make the punishment for vaping on campus more along the lines of a student who gets into a fight or chronically skips school.

The current law requires the same punishment an HISD student would face if they committed a felony on campus.

The potential change at HISD would mean students wouldn't automatically be enrolled in an alternative education program.

They could also face counseling, community service, or a conference attended by parents and administration.

The district has already decided they want this change to take effect, but it must be approved at Thursday night's school board meeting.

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SEE ALSO: Texas law draws criticism after hundreds of Houston-area students removed from school for vaping

The CDC says more than 2.1 million students use e-cigarettes, prompting a new Texas law that was meant to fight the problem. But now, there are concerns about the punishments being handed out.