High School Student Prosecuted for On Campus E-Cig Incident

18-year-old Colin Phillips knows he broke school policy by bringing an e-cigarette to school and showing it to one of his friends. When he got caught he expected some kind of punishment , but he didn't know it would come from the Vanderbugh County Prosecutor's Office.
Colin Phillips is an honor student at North High School. Like most high school students class probably isn't the first thing on his mind. He says he still makes mostly A's, but it was a Class A Misdemeanor Charge that grabbed his attention after an e-cigarette incident on school property. "His mother, her mouth is hanging open. His mouth is hanging open. And it was just like wow what just happened," said Colin's father Rick Phillips.
Colin says he was showing his friend an e-cigarette while in the bathroom. A teacher walked in and saw Colin's friend holding the device. The two were taken to the principal's office. Colin was given a one day suspension and was taken off Homecoming Court. He thought it was over until the case was turned over the the police liaison's office where Colin was ticketed and given a court date. "He actually told me that he thought I was going to get a $25 fine," said Colin.
To Colin's surprise the charge was upgraded to "contributing to the delinquency of a minor." He found out when the judge said the charge carries up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. "That was when I started zoning out because I was just so dumfounded by it. Just completely taken off guard."
For showing his friend an e-cigarette at school Colin faced the same penalties as a first offense drunk driver. But Colin's father says this case is different. "They had never had somebody standing in front of them being prosecuted for an e-cig before."
Colin's charges will be dropped after paying a $350 fine and performing 25 hours of community service. Colin and his father say they have no hard feelings toward the EVSC, but they want to make people aware of what could happen. "If nothing else other parents can take a good look at this situation and realize how quickly a minor violation can get out of hand. Especially at the point in time that your kids are turning 18," said Rick Phillips.
The EVSC says Colin violated policy, but once he is ticketed and enters the court system it is out of the school's control.

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