By Daniel Ritz 

The Health and Safety Committee of the Dana Hills Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) announced it will host a series of educational community programs concerned with the prevalence of the use of vaporizers and marijuana in the youth community.

“Vaping and marijuana are big business and our kids are the target,” a statement from the PTSA announced, citing easy online access a major source of what they say is a growing trend.

Mike Darnold is the interventionist for Dana Hills High School (DHHS), a contracted position with the City of Dana Point, and a former member of the school board.

“Kids come to me and say, ‘Mike, I can’t stop. I can’t make it through a class without vaping,’ and I think the solution starts at home,” Darnold said. “We want to educate, and encourage those parental connections. Fix what’s really going on.”

The first event, “Parenting in a Digital World” will feature Sgt. Clay Sanford. The second event, “Preparing Your Child for College and Beyond” will feature a panel of professionals including DHHS school resource officer Deputy Matt Timmins and psychotherapist Dr. Jorge Galindo.

Dana Hills Principal Dr. Joshua Porter emphasized that smoking of any kind is against school policy, and is and will continue to be enforced.

At school, DHHS students have enacted their own campaign through art and video classes, comparing the lack of long-term information on the impacts of vaporizing to the advertising campaigns for smoking in mid-century America.

Visual/Performing Arts Department Chair Natalie Hribar-Kelly said that students worked in groups of three to four students to submit close to 30 “vape” awareness campaign advertisements.

“They really took it upon themselves and it shows,” said Hribar-Kelly. “These ads relate to their experiences, and they reflect how they feel in visuals they relate to.”

The first event will be on Monday, April 16 from 6:30-8 p.m. at DHHS Porthole Theater. 33333 Golden Lantern. www.dhhsptsa.com.

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