BHS student rushed to ER after vaping
By Logan Watson
The mother of a Bradford High School student pleaded with the BSSD Board of Education and those in attendance to do more to prevent underage vaping after her son was rushed to the emergency room on April 20.
According to Brenda Culver, her 15-year-old son was given a THC vape pen at school by another student, which caused him to have a severe reaction to the drugs.
“He took it into the bathroom and hit the THC pen 10 times,” Culver said.
Five of the 10 hits, Culver said, were what kids call “blinks” — inhaling so long that the device shuts itself off to prevent overheating.
“He hit it five times like that, then an additional five times normally,” Culver said. “I have hospital records because the school had to call EMS. At the school, he was administered Narcan. EMS administered Narcan. Due to the severity of it, they thought the pen was laced with something else.”
Culver said that it took over two hours to get her son’s vital signs stabilized. Had it not been for another student finding her son in the restroom, he might not have survived.
“Five more minutes, and my son would not be here,” Culver told the Board. “Friday, I would have been making funeral arrangements.”
Culver stated that she did not blame the school or the district but told the Board that she felt something needed to be done to prevent the incident from happening again.
“I know it’s not the school’s fault,” she said. “It has to come from somebody over the age of 21. We are a K-12 school. If my child in eighth grade is getting this from a high school student, what if an elementary kid gets ahold of one of these? There’s no telling what damage that is going to do to a [very young] child.”
Bradford High School has installed vape detectors in the bathrooms, but they are not currently working. Culver agreed that the vape detectors were a good idea, but also suggested installing metal detectors to uncover hidden vapes or having the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 Units conduct random searches for drugs on campus.
“We need to do something else,” she said. “We need to protect our kids. We’ve got to do more.” Culver also thanked BHS teacher Paul Richards for noticing that her son was acting “out of character” and getting help.
Another parent in attendance added that her child was offered a vape that day during P.E. class.
“I think we agree that this is something that is a real problem in our schools and our community,” said Director of Schools Dr. Dan Black. “I think we can improve our monitoring somewhat, that might help. It’s going to take all of us to make a difference. It needs to be done.”
Culver stated that her son was charged with Public Intoxication and received five days of in-school suspension for his role in the incident. She did not know, and school officials did not comment on, what disciplinary actions were taken against the other student. Culver said that she has contacted a lawyer and plans on filing charges against the student that gave her son the THC pen.
*Editor’s Note: Since the publication of this article, a Bradford school official has informed the Trenton Gazette that the vape in question was not, as the mother had asserted, an illegal THC vape pen. According to the school employee, the vape was a CBD vape. CBD vapes do contain trace amounts of THC and, while they are sold legally in convenience stores across the county, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess a CBD vape.