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Indiana Teen Expelled for Using Vaping Device at School

A teen in Indiana who fell ill from vaping was expelled from Owen Valley High School after he sought the help of the school nurse. Kegan Houck was a freshman at the school, according to the local reporting of RTV6 Indianapolis. The incident took place on September 30. Houck indicated that he used a friend’s vaping device in the school’s restroom. After he used it, he felt dizzy and nauseated.

Houck made his way to the nurse after vomiting at which time the nurse believed he needed additional medical treatment. The teen was then transported to the local hospital. According to the Mayo Clinic, oxygen levels under 90 are low. Houck’s oxygen level measured 70 at the hospital. Doctors at the hospital diagnosed Houck with having pneumonitis, or inflamed lungs, which was related to the vaping.

The teen maintains he was vaping nicotine only. However, a representative from the Spencer-Owen Community Schools where Houck attended told reporters that the vaping device tested positive for THC. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical component in marijuana that elicits the psychological response for which the plant is known. 

Kegan’s mother, Shannon Houck, acknowledges that her son’s actions were wrong. Given this, she still disagrees with the school’s response. She thinks the school is setting the wrong precedent. Mrs. Houck argues that children who are feeling ill at school will be afraid of getting help because they will be worried that they will get into trouble if they do. Mrs. Houck has made attempts to get her son back into the school but her efforts have not been successful. The district’s superintendent has not commented on this specific situation but says the school has clear policies about possession and use of tobacco and vaping products.

The punishment of the student who allegedly provided Kegan with the vaping device has not been released. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were more than 1,600 cases of lung injuries that resulted from e-cigarette and vaping use in 2018. 

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