Fewer kids suspended for tobacco use

Fewer kids suspended for tobacco use »Play Video
TRI-Cities -- Drinking and smoking isn't a new issue facing high schools.

Parents realize they have enough to worry about keeping kids safe.

"I don't think the schools are actually able to combat alcohol and drug use. Their hands are tied just like a lot of the parents these days." Pam is a parent who had kids go through high school.

Action News looked into a recent state report that details the number of students suspended or expelled due to alcohol or tobacco.

For the school year ending in 2012, suspensions for drinking had remained fairly steady for the Tri-Cities districts compared to the year before.

But if you look at the number of suspensions related to tobacco, it's a different story.

While Richland and Pasco saw only small changes in the number of kids in trouble for tobacco, Kennewick Schools were able to nearly cut their numbers in half.

A rep from the Kennewick schools couldn't give any one thing the credit for lowering the incidents.

Programs and resources are available to students who might be struggling with any substance.

Parent Fred Schmelzer thinks more could be done in the home to improve the problem even more, "I think parents need to take more responsibility toward teaching their children. I don't think it's necessarily the school."

It appears the message is getting across so that schools can focus on education and not on busting kids for bad behavior.