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.