November 14, 2019

Dear Families,

I recently read an article in the New York Times online discussing the rise in e-cigarette use among teenagers. Titled “Teen Vaping Rises Sharply Again This Year”, the author, Sheila Kaplan, cites a national survey conducted by the University of Michigan, which revealed that “Vaping prevalence more than doubled in the grades surveyed, eighth, tenth, and twelth, from 2017 though this year.” This is a serious issue facing our youth. We know some students as young as fifth and sixth grade are aware of vaping products through older siblings and the media.

At Kent Middle School, we have a robust behavioral health program that begins in fifth grade through family life discussions, continues in sixth and seventh grade with our Life Skills enrichment course, and concludes in eighth grade with Teens in Transition. We intentionally scaffold our students’ experiences so that every year they receive a clear and consistent message about risky behavior and choices. As individual incidents arise, we work closely with the students involved and their families to ensure they understand the dangers of their actions and the consequences.

I encourage you to attend the January KSPTA meeting when Marin County School Resource Office Josie Sanguinetti will address the issue of vaping. The Marin County Office of Education’s TUPE website ( Tobacco Use and Prevention Education) has very good information for parents.  I encourage you to visit their page.

Together, we can work to educate our kids about this very real and very serious teen trend.


Jenny Walsh
Kent Assistant Principal