Posted Date: 11/03/2023
The United ISD Guidance and Counseling Department held their first-ever anti-vaping poster contest for students in elementary. Fifth graders district-wide were invited to participate and use their creativity to spread the message of anti-vaping. The initiative comes as more vaping incidents among elementary students have been reported nationwide. Over 41 posters were submitted with each of our 30 elementary schools selecting their finalists.
Substance abuse educational awareness usually concentrates on middle and high school students, but educators believe it’s time the younger generations start learning about the dangers and consequences of using e-cigarettes. United South High School Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Hector Gutierrez says the drug companies are now trying to target the younger children by offering more candy-flavored products.
“It’s never too early or too late to start teaching our kids about substance abuse. A lot of times it is frowned upon, you get scared and think if you introduce it to them it's gonna make them curious but that's not the truth. The truth is the more we educate them at a young age, the better equipped they are to make an informed decision when they encounter those situations.”
Mr. Gutierrez added that not only does vaping have health consequences, but it is now considered a state felony. Students are subject to prosecution and can go to jail if arrested.
Several people were invited to judge the contest including Webb County Judge Tano Tijerina.
“I congratulate UISD for taking this initiative with the younger students. A lot of these posters were very impressive. They used their creativity to make something simple into something beautiful, and more importantly pass the message of no vaping.”
All participating students were rewarded with goodie backpacks thanks to the UISD Federal Programs Department, TAMIU and Judge Tano Tijerina. First, second and third place winners were awarded cash gift cards. The top 3 winners of the contest were the following: 1st Place Scarlett Sanchez, Bonnie Garcia Elementary, 2nd Place Eleanie Mendoza, Killam Elementary, and 3rd Place Demian Orozco, Killam Elementary.
Congratulations to all the students who participated!