York High School officials are warning parents that some students are using e-cigarettes to get high.
In a letter to parents, York High School Principal Diana Smith said a police investigation of student drug use occurred this month at the school.
The investigation showed some students are using e-cigarettes to consume THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, because it is harder to detect.
"The e-cigarettes, which are relatively new to us, allow the user to ingest without smell or smoke," Smith wrote in the letter.
Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth said users can extract THC in liquid form or use hashish oil in e-cigarettes.
Smith said students also are putting marijuana in baked goods at home and bringing them to school in an attempt to avoid detection.
Smith said the behavior is not widespread among students. She said most of the drug activity takes place outside the school, but some is taking place at school.
Dave Pruneau, superintendent of Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205, said five students, all freshmen, face possible expulsion as a result of the investigation. He said they are accused of using or distributing drugs used in e-cigarettes and in baked goods.
Ruth said he doesn't want parents who notice their children using e-cigarettes to think they are safer than traditional cigarettes because they don't require tobacco.
"Parents need to be aware that if they see e-cigarettes perhaps they are not the best thing for our youth to be using," Ruth said.
He said use of e-cigarettes for ingesting drugs has been around a couple years, but this is the first time it has been seen in Elmhurst.
Smith said the school wants to be upfront about tackling drug use.
"Drug and alcohol use endangers all of our students, and we are confronting it head-on," she said.
Smith warned students at York in a message delivered over the intercom that use of drugs, tobacco or e-cigarettes is not allowed at the school.
"The use of e-cigarettes by minors is a violation of Illinois State Law," she said. "Therefore possession of e-cigarettes or any tobacco or nicotine product or fluid by a student of any age at York is a violation of school policy."
Pruneau said there are plans for police liaison officers to meet with eighth graders to talk to them about the dangers of drug use and e-cigarettes.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun