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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Park reprises anti-vape campaign

Students rejoin Escape the Vape challenge
Park+reprises+anti-vape+campaign

This year, Park is choosing to participate in the Escape The Vape Challenge for the second year in a row. The goal of this challenge is to create a 30-second PSA against vaping, which they believe will lower the rates of e-cigarette and vape usage. Park participated in this challenge last year, but there were a large number of videos that did not align with the guidelines of the challenge and are using this year as a resubmission period for the challenge. 

Not a single person I know had even heard of this challenge when I asked them, much less thought about participating. The only reason people might even consider doing this challenge is because of the cash prize. Not only is this challenge basically unheard of, but it also would be basically inconsequential if people did participate. These videos wouldn’t even be shown in most classes, much less watched. Even if people did watch them, the social stain on a students reputation that would come with having this kind of video shown in a high school would be detrimental to their social life. 

There are good intentions behind this idea. Vaping does have harmful effects and the idea that less people, especially high school students and kids, should not be vaping is not a radical idea. I just think that the implementation of this idea is the problem. Implementing this project might also force kids to actually do research about vaping and see what the side effects are. Given that, I don’t think this challenge would reach the right audience, and the people that it is intending to reach would not actually choose to participate. 

Another big problem with this challenge is the communication. The only way you might know about this challenge is if you read the 6425 every time it comes out or if your Park Connections teacher decided to tell you about it. I don’t really see how administration expects this to make a change if no one knows about it. Not only have I never heard about it until I began writing this, not one person who I talked to afterward had heard of it either. Students should at least be aware of it, especially if they are offering a cash prize. Five hundred dollars can really impact a student at Park and they should at least have the chance to think about it. 

Many schools who participate in this challenge, require students to participate and submit a short video. While it is a good idea that Park doesn’t mandate this, it is impossible for them to get their point across if they do nothing. Park often either has mandatory, school-wide things like the community service project that we were supposed to do in 8th grade, or they just completely ignore the idea altogether. I think that if this challenge is going to have any effect, or any other adaptation of a similar project, they have to figure out ways to let people know about it without forcing everyone to do it. 

Overall,this whole challenge is not going to amount to anything. Not only is nobody doing it, but even if they did, it wouldn’t change anything because nobody would listen. Vaping is a pervasive problem in high schools across the world and is definitely a problem at Park but this is not the best way to address it. I also think that we can try to limit vaping, but it will always be a problem at this school as long as we have students here.

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About the Contributor
Thomas Halverson, Echo Staffer
Hi, I’m Thomas Halverson. I am a junior here at St. Louis Park High School. This year I am a varsity runner on the cross country team, varsity tennis player and junior varsity basketball player. I am super excited to be a part of the echo team this year!

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