Pleasanton youth take aim at snuffing out teen vaping, tobacco use

Also: District issues $90M in Measure I1 bonds; Go Green recommendations

Snuffing out flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes use among Pleasanton youth is the focus of a new resolution set to be presented at the Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night.

The resolution asks PUSD and elected officials to “call on our entire Pleasanton community to join in support of ensuring student health by refraining from the marketing and sales of tobacco, flavored tobacco, and vaping products to young people throughout the city of Pleasanton.”

It also encourages to “take all practical and necessary steps to discourage students from smoking including forbidding the use of tobacco products and vaping devices on campuses ... by providing student education and family information on the dangers of tobacco and vaping use.”

Pleasanton is the latest Tri-Valley community to try to stem youth vaping.

Livermore recently passed a city ordinance to ban the sale of flavored tobacco, restrict vaping paraphernalia sales and implement a city tobacco retailer license program. That ordinance is now being challenged by Bay Area e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs, which collected enough signatures the other week for a referendum petition trying to overturn the Livermore City Council’s ordinance.

In April, PUSD staff reported that early intervention programs for some students caught vaping have experienced some success. None who completed the family workshop for tobacco, alcohol or drug offenses during the 2018-19 school year had reoffended for vaping. Reduced suspensions have also been attributed to the workshop. PUSD has increased tobacco and vaping education at campuses as well over the past year.

The regular school board meeting is set to start at 7 p.m. inside the PUSD boardroom, 4665 Bernal Ave.

In other business

* An update on the second round of Measure I1 bond sales will be heard on Tuesday; last week the district sold $90 million in general obligation bonds.

Most sold within several hours, according to district officials, who partly attributed the district’s strong credit rating and high property assessment values to a “very favorable bond market” recently.

According to PUSD documents, “geopolitical tensions and economic worries within the past year led investors to seek the safety of U.S. treasuries and municipal bonds.”

Overall, conditions have favored taxpayers so far: the bonds “ultimately achieved a very low all-inclusive interest cost of 2.64%, and a net payment ratio of 1.37 to 1,” which, according to the district, is “far below the legislative cap of 4 to 1.”

With two other school bond measures set to expire in the next year or so, the district is currently in the process of surveying residents about a potential new $120 million school facilities bond measure that would sustain the current tax rate. Polling started last week and is set to continue through Sept. 6.

* Pleasanton high school and college students will present their research and recommendations to the Board that evening about energy use at all 15 PUSD campuses.

During summer, 32 interns from the local nonprofit Go Green Initiative used energy benchmarking tools from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to examine energy use for every PUSD school and facility site. The entire 106-page report, which will be summarized in a presentation, contains data on nine specific findings.

All PUSD schools are eligible for Energy Star certification, and three of them--Hearst, Lydiksen and Walnut Grove -- had perfect scores, according to the report.

However, the interns also found 96-year-old Amador Valley High School to be the least energy-efficient campus, which led to them “recommend installing an energy management system for each school and hiring a sustainability director for the whole district to reduce energy usage and costs.”

They also suggested conducting an energy office of the district administrative headquarters and creating site-specific goals for the short term.

* The board is expected to ratify the appointment of Kathleen Townsend as the new vice principal at Fairlands Elementary School.

Townsend, who previously taught kindergarten at Donlon Elementary, will take the place of Heidi Deeringhoff, according to district personnel documents. Last month, Deeringhoff was named the successor to former Fairlands principal Shay Galletti, who moved into the role of district director of elementary education earlier this year. Townsend would start her new job Sept. 2.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.


5 people like this
Posted by Banning pay-to-play tutoring by school teachers?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2019 at 8:37 pm

I am wondering why specifically why the Pleasanton Weekly is completely ignoring one of the items on the agenda which appears to be a new ban on employees having students pay them for after school tutoring, a practice that has been completely unethical. This also involves band directors having students pay them for lessons as well.

This relates to two board policies concerning Tutoring and Non-school employment.

[Portion removed pending verification of information]

[Portion removed as misinformation]

The Pleasanton Weekly should report on this story in spite of its staff's relatives.

Please update your story concerning this board item.

6 people like this
Posted by Student at AV
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 26, 2019 at 8:51 pm

Trying to ban/regulate the sale of goods doesn't decrease their use, especially when it comes to highly addictive substances like e-cigarettes

Tried it with prohibition, tried it with the War on Drugs--it doesn't work. People don't understand the actual factors at play when it comes to addiction and they attempt to pass legislation to solve this issue. Why people don't understand this simple fact, I have no idea. I mean, come on. Do people honestly expect that getting the school board to crack down harder on vaping is going eliminate it entirely?

There's a clear nationwide socio-cultural issue that fosters the addiction of substances in Americans on all ages. Government bans and regulations will not solve it. It never has

History repeats itself, I guess.

1 person likes this
Posted by parent
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Aug 26, 2019 at 10:08 pm

Explain to me how teachers such as this Foothill High math teacher can simultaneously teach at Las Positas College and moonlight full time as a tutor as well as effectively teach math at PUSD at Foothill - [Portion removed due to promoting a website]
The CAASPP math scores show that high school students in Pleasanton students are not being well served whatsoever by teachers in Pleasanton.

There is a great disparity in standardized test scores by ethnicity in Pleasanton schools. Nearly 4 out of 10 or 38% of White students at the 11th grade level in Pleasanton's high schools cannot meet basic algebra/geometry standards tested by the CAASPP compared to Asian students (many who pay tutors), where only 9% of Asian students fail to meet the math standards. And the percentage who fail math standards who are Hispanic or Black is even worse. The equity gap in 2018 scores by ethnicity is clear.

The proposed board policies as I read it perpetuates the cycle of inequity in the school district and continues to allow PUSD staff members to fleece students (whose parents can afford it) and gain financially from side gigs rather than devote their attention to PUSD students.

Teachers should not be allowed to double dip and be paid by students or other local districts (e.g., local community college). Unless the Board policy states that employees who engage in this behavior will be terminated, these policies will have no meaning.

1 person likes this
Posted by Banning pay-to-play tutoring by teachers?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2019 at 11:57 pm

What we have in Pleasanton is an AP College Board scam that is on the same level of corruption. AP courses should be a way for students in a high school class to earn college credit WITHOUT personally handing over cash to the PUSD teacher.

These advertisements for tutoring only prove the point that the Pleasanton School District is providing sham course outlines to the College Board for their AP courses such as AP Calculus and then in classroom, only a subset of the material for the AP course is covered.

After all, what does the advertisement for the Foothill teacher say on the tutors website - [Portion removed due to promoting a website] ?

The exact words on the profile say: "When tutoring one-on-one, 100% of my students pass the AP test."

In other words, this teacher is only presenting a subset of the AP course material in the classroom at Foothill High School.

And if you pay cash to this teacher 1:1 in private tutoring, this teacher evidently through his 100% pass-rate claim will actually teach the material that he should be teaching in the AP class in his classroom, but isn't.

What a scam. And what a shame that Pleasanton administrators allow it.

Like this comment
Posted by Conflict of interest
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 27, 2019 at 11:46 am

Too bad the headline and story mentions nothing about this.[removed because it contained names of private individuals] The employment of PUSD teachers by the District and requiring parents to pay out of pocket for tutoring services is a conflict of interest -- [Portion removed due to promoting a website]

It disappointing that the management of Embarcadero Publishing consistently censors and spikes (journalistic lingo) stories concerning PUSD and tutoring for pay because of their conflict of interest.

Like this comment
Posted by Conflict of interest
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 27, 2019 at 12:05 pm

The Pleasanton Weekly and its need to divulge its conflict of interest needs to disclose how much of a financial gain family members of Embarcadero Publishing employees have gained from the operation of Steps Community Prep School

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what has been known to the community at large for at least the last 5 years -

Steps Community Prep School [Portion removed due to promoting a website]

8 people like this
Posted by Gina Channell, Publisher
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 27, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Gina Channell, Publisher is a registered user.

Sorry, folks, no conflict of interest. It was an item on a consent agenda that was overlooked, which happens with consent items.

Our reporter will follow up on that item and update the story.

And, for the record, there are no Embarcadero Media Group employees with family members employed by PUSD.

You can always email me or Jeremy with questions or concerns about our coverage. If you're comfortable with us knowing who you are, that is.

Like this comment
Posted by What?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2019 at 1:56 pm


Why then did the Pleasanton Weekly remove the post portion above as "misinformation?" It is only fair that the Pleasanton Weekly explain why it classified the relationship between Jeb Bing and this business as "misinformation" as well as disclose its relationship to the STEPS business vis a vis it not reporting on the two policies up for discussion in tonight's board meeting.

Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 27, 2019 at 4:27 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Anonymous posters are cowards.

Like this comment
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on Aug 27, 2019 at 9:32 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

Nothing new...this has been going on for a long long time. And my kids have been out of the PUSD and in the professional workplace for years. We all knew back when.

3 people like this
Posted by buklau
a resident of Stoneridge
on Aug 28, 2019 at 11:17 am

buklau is a registered user.

Teens are always going to be doing some things they shouldn't (partying, drinking, etc); better that kids vape instead of smoke cigarettes. The same parents freaking out about 'oh no teens vaping' are the ones who often drank alcohol growing up LOL

2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 28, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

buk, not reading about all the teens in hospitals? Nicotine is addictive. Vaping or cigarettes; a silly comparison. Neither.

1 person likes this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 28, 2019 at 1:52 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

No on vaping
No on student bribery for ap access
No on bond

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Premarital and Couples: 10 Tips for the Holidays
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,288 views

Plenty of blame to go around for fires and power shutoffs
By Tim Hunt | 9 comments | 671 views

Axis, a Holiday Fund beneficiary, helps residents meet new state health law
By Jeb Bing | 1 comment | 302 views