Wenatchee Schools Set For Settlement Money From JUUL Lawsuit
Wenatchee schools is in line to receive close to $150,000 from a settlement against vaping manufacturer JUUL.
The payout will range between $145,000 and $156,000, but will be a little less after legal fees and court costs.
The district joined a national class action lawsuit against JUUL while working with the Frantz Law Group.
Wenatchee Schools spokesperson Diana Haglund says they'll use the settlement money to address the vaping issue and students in need.
"There's right now currently no restrictions on how we spend the funding,” said Haglund. "However, we have determined that at least a portion of that will go towards prevention if not other areas in social, emotional learning where we can support students. But it will go directly to support students in this space."
Wenatchee will receive roughly half its settlement money this year, with the rest spread out over the next four years.
JUUL agreed to pay $1.2 billion nationally in lawsuit settlement.
Haglund says they're looking at several ways to cut down vaping on campus, including the installation vape detection devices in bathrooms.
"We also have other mitigation measures in place, whether that's embedding the prevention in our healthy living classes, or leveraging current positions we have in the district, such as our school resource officers and our prevention and intervention staff to build relationships with students, and be available to provide curriculum resources," Haglund said.
The district also has a working relationship with an East Wenatchee based non-profit that offers programs to help kids with tobacco, marijuana and substance abuse issues.
Wenatchee schools have seen a rise in vaping, starting at the junior high level. The practice has been elusive because vaping is largely concealable.
Haglund said former superintendent Paul Gordon was passionate about moving the vaping issue to the forefront as usage in schools became more prominent.
She said the settlement money will provide the district with resources to continue work on the issue.