A supply teacher who was arrested on child abuse charges for allegedly letting a student use her vape claims she was just “trying to fit in”.
Police say 50-year-old Jennifer Hale, allowed a 12 or 13 year old child to use her vape after they asked for a hit on May 1.
The bizarre incident took place at Eustis Middle School, which lies around 40 miles north of Orlando, Florida.
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According to a written statement of evidence obtained by local media outletWKMG, Hale admitted to the incident, telling the school’s principal “I was just trying to fit in”.
The outlet reported that she was removed from the incident shortly afterwards, being told she could no longer return.
Police arrested and charged Hale on one count of child abuse, police said.
She is still being held on a $1,000 (£792) bail.
While vaping is often used as a substitute for smoking cigarettes, the jury is still out on the harm it causes.
Teen mum gets 'death threats' after she shoved vape in her baby's mouth as 'joke'
Scientists have not had enough time to test the long-term effects of vaping on adults, let alone children.
The NHS website says: “As a precaution, it is best not to vape around babies and children if you can avoid it. Young children often copy what adults do.”
Vaping among young children and teenagers appears to be on the rise.
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In March, Dr Mike McKean, a top scientist at the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health, said vaping was becoming an “epidemic” among teenagers
He estimated that as many as 15% of teens could be smoking, after NHS figures for 2021 showed that 9% of 11 to 15-year-olds used vapes, while a whopping 18% of 15-year-olds admitted to puffing away on the sweet-flavoured chemicals.
A spokesperson for Lake County School District told the Daily Star: "Ms. Hale is no longer employed with Lake County Schools."
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