Lake Travis ISD students receiving disciplinary action for vaping are now required to attend the district’s disciplinary alternative education program.

What's happening?

A new state law that went into effect Sept. 1 requires students using, possessing or selling e-cigarettes, marijuana or THC at school within 300 feet of school property or at a school-related event to attend a disciplinary alternative education program, or a DAEP.

The LTISD board of trustees updated the district’s student code of conduct to reflect the new disciplinary requirement for vaping at a July 19 meeting.

Students with vaping-related offenses will be placed at the district's DAEP for the following durations, according to the district's website.

The breakdown
  • First offense: 15-day DAEP placement
  • Second offense: 30-day DAEP placement
  • Third offense: 45-day DAEP placement and criminal charges
The district's DAEP is located in a portable building near Lake Travis High School, and students in the program are prohibited from participating in on-campus activities, said Marco Alvarado, LTISD executive director for communications and community relations.

If the DAEP reaches capacity, students may be placed in in-school suspension, or ISS, until a spot opens up, according to the law. Students may also be transferred from the DAEP to ISS if a spot is needed for a student with a more serious offense.

LTISD General Counsel Allyson Collins said the district would monitor capacity and staffing needs at its DAEP moving forward.

Also of note

Students who test positive for substances through the district’s random drug testing program will not be sent to the DAEP, Collins said, as state law prohibits districts from using drug testing for disciplinary purposes.

LTISD requires random drug testing for seventh through 12th grade students in a competitive, school-sponsored extracurricular activities and for high school students to obtain a parking pass.

“For those kids who are watching, we are not trying to send you to DAEP,” LTISD board Vice President Kim Flasch said at a July 19 meeting.

During the 2022-23 school year, the district tested 848 middle and high students, 26 of which tested positive, said Jennifer Lyon, LTISD director of health and social emotional learning.

The most commonly detected substance was nicotine with 15 students testing positive. Two students tested positive for nicotine and marijuana, while nine tested positive for marijuana only. Three of the 26 positive test results came from middle school students, she said.

Lyon said the district implemented anti-vaping curriculum Catch My Breath for sixth through ninth grade students last school year.

What they're saying

“By enforcing the required DAEP placement for vaping, we aim to discourage the use of harmful substances and create a safer environment that supports the overall health and development of our students," Alvarado said. "We encourage you to have open conversations with your child about the dangers of vaping and to be aware of their surroundings to ensure they are not engaging in risky behaviors near school property."

Click here to read more about the district's vaping response.