HHS Parent Newsletter

Juuling Edition

Yes, you read that right. Juuling edition. I am sitting here in my home enjoying the last few days of Spring Break, and what is heavy on my heart? The juuling epidemic. We have so many resources that we are putting together for you, but I just feel the need to get some info out to you right now, as we head into the final weeks before summer break.

I have often said, I am a parent before I am a principal, and as a parent, I want to share some things with you. If I learn something as a principal that helps me as a parent, my first thought is to get that info to you.

I’m not sure if you’re aware of how many safety searches we conduct at HHS. (If we search your child, we will call you to let you know, even if we do not find anything!) When we conduct these searches, I often find myself hoping that we are wrong and that the student we are searching does not have juuling devices on him/her. Unfortunately, our searches are often successful and we have found up to 4 or 5 devices in a given day, sometimes containing THC. (When we find juuling pods, we work with our SRO to test the liquid inside of them.) It occurred to me that you might want to conduct safety searches at home. So here are our tips:

1. Juul chargers come in many forms. The trickiest are the ones that look like usb chargers. I included a photo below.

2. Kids will always say, “It’s not mine. I’m holding it for a friend.” Sorry, but don’t believe them. As adults, we know that it doesn’t matter... if it is on your person, it’s yours.

3. Kids often hide things in their waistbands. How do I know this? They told me.

4. We have found juuling devices hidden in our bathrooms (in the toilet paper holder, in the soap dispenser, etc.). Does this mean your child could be stashing something in YOUR bathroom? Yes. Check it out.

5. We check shoes and socks too. These are easy places to store all kinds of things. We haven’t found anything in these locations lately, but we just never know.

6. Girls will hide things in their shirts and bras. How do I know this? They often just pull them out when they know we know they have something. (Do we search these areas? Absolutely not.) But many kids are forthcoming, and we appreciate that. In most cases, the students know that we are not out to get them, but that it is simply a case of illegal activity. Because the bottom line is, juuling is illegal in school, even for our 18-year-olds.

7. Could your child be juuling in your home when you are literally right there? Yes. They are doing it in our classrooms. It’s not that hard to hide. Here’s what they do: some juul pods are odor-free, so you wouldn’t even smell it. Most of the juuls our kids use have a fruity smell, so when we smell fruit in the restroom, we know we need to investigate. This can be tricky for you at home, as girls use so many lotions, etc., and can easily explain away that scent. But if you know what to look for, you can search and seize. (I know that makes it sound so serious, but it is.) When kids try to juul in school, they discreetly pull their shirts up over their noses and mouths, take a hit off the juul, and blow it into their shirt. Some will even hold the vapor in their mouths until it dissipates, so they never have to exhale it. We taught our teachers what to look for, and we have been successful at catching this. So I thought I should share these techniques with you as well.

8. Even if you don’t find anything at home, could your child be juuling? Yes. Kids share these at school. Some even SELL hits off of their juuls. (This is called distribution and as you can imagine, the consequences are quite serious.) This one bothers me the most. Why? As parents, you trust that your kids will come home in the same shape as they left you in. The fact that they could ingest/inhale something at our school makes horrifies me. That is why we are so tough on juuling. That is why we conduct safety searches. Keeping the kids safe that you entrust us with is our number one priority. This is why we search kids’ shoes and socks (trust me, we don’t want to do this!). We will do everything we can to keep drugs our of our building and to prevent your children from accessing them at our school.

So what, now what?

I give you this info so that you can utilize some of these search techniques at home. Trust me, I would much rather you find something than me find something and have to call you about it.

As a school, we want to focus on academics and opportunity and career readiness. And we do this. But the juuling epidemic takes a lot of our time. We need your help. I have two main goals when it comes to the fight against juuling: to keep your kids safe and to keep academics safe. Juuling threatens both. But we are responding to this threat with strong partnerships with the HPD and with you. That is my intent in sharing this with you. This is on my heart, and I have no doubt it is on yours as well.

One last thing, and perhaps the most important... WHY are kids juuling? Well, the ones I have talked to cite stress relief as the biggest reason. They think it’s no big deal and they think that stress relief is a perfectly reasonable response. Also, they are addicted. This is a huge revelation. One juul pod contains the amount of nicotine in 20 cigarettes. We have kids who report that they cannot go one hour without juuling because they are so addicted. As adults, if we have nicotine addiction, we have resources... patches, gum, etc. (Of course, keep in mind that juuling is advertised as a safer alternative to smoking. That’s fine for adults. But it’s still illegal for kids. And illegal to put THC in the pods. And since kids can’t just buy juul pods at a store, they buy them from other people. People they don’t even know. So who knows what may be in those pods.)

What nicotine addiction resources do our kids have? This is something we are looking into. For now, my advice to parents has been to talk to your child’s doctor. Don’t underestimate the power of addiction. Remember, juul pods have large amounts of nicotine (and sometimes THC) in them. If you are a cigarette smoker, you know how that addiction feels. Multiply that, throw a still-developing teen brain in the mix, and you have a serious medical issue. Speaking of this, I have talked to some parents who found out their kids were juuling because their kids were so sick all the time. After numerous doctor visits, tests, etc., they found out that the culprit was juuling. Juuling was making their kids physically sick. Not just addicted, not just dangerous due to whatever may be in the liquid, but really, really sick. This is scary.

So what can you do?

1. Talk to your kids. Talk, talk, talk. Make sure they know that YOU know what is going on. Know the terms. Research. Know what a dab is. Know what a juul is. Know what they look like. Know what they smell like. Know where to look for them.

2. Search frequently.

3. Google. If you can find it on Google, your kids can too. (Check their search history, check their phones!)

4. Watch for signs of addiction.

5. Seek help if you find out that your child is juuling. Talk to your child’s doctor.

6. Call us any time for tips, help, or advice (this goes both ways—we love advice from you!).

I know this is all scary and a bit much coming off of Spring Break, but I want you to know why we do what we do, and I want to give you any tools we have. If you have tools to share with us, please do. We so appreciate your partnership.

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Juul charger

Note the 2 gold circles at the top. That’s how you know it’s a juul charger. Here’s the thing: kids can turn any charger into a juul charger. They can make their iPhone charger a juul charger. There are youtube videos showing how to do this. There are literally “advances” in this area daily it seems. Even as a write this, I am learning more as I google “images” and juuling. I highly recommend doing this.

Letter from HPD

You received this letter from Chief Zormier (it went out with our report card mailing). Please pay close attention the paragraph about the charges (below). Charges issued by our SRO can result in a court appearance and a fine ranging from $150-$200. This is in addition to consequences from the school.

Read the letter here:


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Final Thoughts

I had my 14-year-old son proofread this. He suggested I add the part about how juuling is advertised as a safe alternative to smoking.

I said to him, “Hey, did you know kids can make their own juuling chargers?” He said, “Probably. Welcome to the generation we live in, Mom.”