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This podcast addresses suicide prevention.

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox shares his personal experience and hard work to raise suicide prevention awareness in Utah.

Then, Jordan School District Health and Wellness Specialist, McKinley Withers, shares advice for parents on how to start a conversation about suicide prevention with students. How do you open the lines of communication and keep the conversation going.

If you or anyone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or by calling the University of Utah Crisis Line at 801-587-3000. You can also download the SafeUT app.

For additional resources visit wellness.jordandistrict.org


Audio Transcription

The following podcast is about suicide prevention. If you or anyone, you know, needs help contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or locally by calling the university of Utah CrisisLine at (801) 587-3000 or download the SAFE UT app.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Today, we're going to talk about something that is impacting far too many families throughout Utah and the country right now. And that's suicide. More importantly, we're going to talk about suicide prevention in just a moment. We'll hear from our Jordan School District Health and Wellness Specialists, McKinley Withers. He joined us on the podcast previously with the episode titled, Happiness Forecast. He has information and resources for us to help prevent suicide, information for parents about what to do, if they're worried about their teen or just what they ought to be talking with their teen about, even if they don't see signs of a problem. But first, we had the opportunity to talk to Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox, who has a very personal story to tell. He's raising awareness statewide and has an important message for students when it comes to suicide prevention. Lieutenant Governor Cox.

Thank you very much for taking a few moments to talk with us for the podcast. You've been an advocate for suicide prevention. Tell us a little bit about some of what's been happening lately.

Sepncer Cox:
Well, we have some really exciting announcements around suicide prevention, as you know. This has been a struggle for our state, unfortunately the numbers of those that we've lost over the past few years have been unacceptable and, of course, losing any life. These are all preventable deaths. And so we really have turned a corner in Utah, in focus on this at a pub public policy level. We started about two years ago, the Governor Suicide Prevention Task Force, and coming out of that task force with some of the best and brightest in the state, we've had some incredible ideas.

The legislature has been very supportive. One of those ideas was the creation of a fund to help us to help us with suicide prevention awareness. We've never had a true statewide campaign with all stakeholders involved, to make sure that we're giving people good information and helping people understand where they can go for help and how to overcome those dark feelings that so many of us have had, me included. And so we got a million dollars from the legislature, if we could match it from the private sector. We announced yesterday, and we're so excited about this, the private sector stepped up. We now have the $2 million. We are just going through the RFP process right now for that suicide prevention campaign. And next year we will be launching that. It's a huge deal for Utah. We're very excited. And we just have to do more to help, especially our young people, understand that we need them to stay. That this life is so important and that things will get better.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you very much. That's an exciting initiative. And you've been a personal advocate because of some personal experiences that you went through. And I know you connected to one of our students on a field trip up to visit you. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Spencer Cox:
Happy to. So, a few years ago I went to a conference on Suicide Prevention and I had my talking points all ready that my staff had helped me prepare and I listened to the stories of survivors. I listened to stories of parents who had lost their children. And I was just taken back to a time when I struggled and I realized that we needed to talk about this more, that talking about it is actually healthy. That it's good, that it helps kids understand that they're not alone because when we get in those dark times, we feel like we're the only one and we must be broken and there's something wrong with us. I went through that in middle school. I was bullied. My parents had been divorced. It was a really dark time for me.

And I started thinking that maybe the world would be a better place if I wasn't in it. And I'm so grateful that I had people I could talk to. People that believed in me, people that helped me. And I'm just grateful that I stayed in and I have an incredible life. So I I've started sharing that now, as I travel around and I did meet with some students from your District that were at my office. They're always taken back a little They're there to tour the Capitol and see things. And why is this guy talking to us about suicide prevention? But I want them to know that it's okay and that they're not alone. And what we do know is that in a class of 30 to 35 kids, seven of them have had those thoughts.

There's a power in understanding that and realizing that and encouraging people to talk to someone, to find someone, whether it's a friend, a family member, a counselor, a teacher, someone that they can talk to about what they're feeling. And so I mentioned that to these kids and just said, "Hey, look, I know what some of you right now in this room are thinking about. I know you are statistics tell me there are probably five or six of you. And you need to find someone to talk to, anyone. And if you can't talk to anyone, talk to me. And as we finished, a student came up and said, can I give you a hug? And I said, sure. And she told me, I'm one of those that's been thinking about it.

And this is the other thing. Sometimes we don't know what to do. And if you're not one of those five or six people, then you have a friend that is, so talk about it. And I just said, I thank you for sharing that with me. You know, don't freak out. Just tell them how much you love them. And then, and then refer them and help them get help. And that's what I did. I said, thank you for sharing that. It means the world to me. We talked for a few minutes about her feelings. And then I was able to talk to some of the administrators and counselors and get her some help. And I understand she's doing much better. And so it seems really simple, but that's how we save lives.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you. That's great advice because so many people are afraid of talking about it. They're worried that if they talk about it, it'll make things worse or give someone an idea, when in fact, like you said, it just emphasizes that you're not alone and that this isn't a unique thing for someone to feel. And for someone in your position to be willing to talk about it, like you said, on a Capitol tour of all things, to be able to talk about that, it's just what we need to be doing. And I really appreciate your example in that way. Is there any last words of encouragement you would give any students listening to the podcast?

Spencer Cox:
Well, I would just tell students everywhere how powerful they are and the potential that they have that they don't even realize yet. There are so many great days ahead. And we love you. We're excited for your future, and even if it seems hopeless and dark right now, it is not, trust me. Please find someone to reach out to. I would encourage everyone to download the SAFE Utah app on their phones, at the push of a button. When you find yourself in those dark moments in crisis, you can be connected anonymously, if you want to be with a mental health professional, who can walk through those things with you. And if you don't have access to a smartphone or a tablet to do that, you can you can always just pick up the phone and call the Suicide Lifeline here in the state. It's 1-800-273-TALK, that's 1-800-273-TALK. And please, please, please find someone to talk to. There are better days ahead.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Lt. Governor Cox, thank you so much for taking the time. I know you're busy. We really appreciate it. Thank you.

We're back in studio with McKinley Withers, the Health and Wellness Specialist for Jordan School District. So McKinley, I want to focus specifically on what parents can do to help prevent suicide. First off, should parents talk to their children about suicide?

McKinley:
Yes, definitely. And there is a myth out there that talking about it might plant the idea in a child's head or might make them think about it if they weren't before. There's no reason to believe that's the case. It's safe to talk about it. And, in fact, it's one of the best ways to begin the conversation and also to get help for your child. It helps alleviate those feelings that they may be having, just to know that their parent has asked directly actually about that. So great.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So in what ways do we go about asking that question? How do we approach the topic with our kids? Because you don't just want out of the blue, want to say, "Hey, by the way", it's always hard to approach topics like that. How do we go about it?

McKinley:
You can safely assume that your child has heard about it already, that the media, that they are exposed to that. It's already talking about it. They may have seen it in shows. They've heard it mentioned. So you're not the first person to bring it up. And that's important to acknowledge so that you feel a little bit more comfortable with asking about it. So that can come up naturally in conversations about some of their media content. Maybe they've come across it at school, or maybe they've asked a question. But also if you're seeing any signs that they're struggling or acting differently, I think that a really inviting and open way to ask the question is something along the lines of, "I've noticed that you've been struggling a little bit, you've been having a hard time. And I've heard that a lot of kids your age, when they struggle might have thoughts of hurting themselves, is that something you've ever thought about?" And the reason that's a good way to ask the question is it already tells them, you're aware that a lot of other kids have that issue. So it doesn't make them feel bad about it. So they're more likely to say, "Well, yeah, I have thought about it."

Superintendent Godfrey:
I like that. That makes a lot of sense. So let's say that they say, no, I haven't. Then what do you say after that?

McKinley:
Well, thank you for talking to me. And if you do ever have those thoughts or feelings, just know that I'm here and I'm always willing to talk about it and make sure that you get the help that you need, which starts with me.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What if they say yes. Okay.

McKinley:
So, there's actually a pretty good chance that you could hear yes. And that can be a scary thought for many people.

But if somebody says yes, it doesn't mean that they've necessarily made a plan, that it's imminent. Simply that they've thought about it before.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Right. So where do you go from there?

McKinley:
And I'll tell you, I think it's important to say how not to react, because if you want to close down that conversation, say something like, "Oh, well that would be stupid. Or, you know you wouldn't want to go and do something like that, would you?" Because that makes them not feel safe. And they might say, "Oh, you're right. I'm not thinking about it. So acknowledging and validating, I think that is a really good general rule for parents when it comes to these difficult conversations, is to remember that if it matters to the child, then it matters. So don't downplay whatever it is that they're struggling with by saying, "Oh, you're thinking about hurting yourself over that breakup.  I thought you guys were together for three weeks. That's ridiculous. Right." So you can see how that, rather than, "Wow. I didn't realize that's so hard and I'm here to help."

Superintendent Godfrey:
That makes a lot of sense. So I think that starting with don't freak out, don't tell them that it's dumb that they're concerned, or that they are struggling with those thoughts or shut down that conversation, but to open it up and validate whatever it is that matters to them. Have that conversation. And you can almost use that same sentence structure that we use to ask the question and say, "well, I've heard that many kids struggle with these feelings and thoughts, and I've also heard that they get better and that there is hope, and that there is help available. And I want to be here for you".

Superintendent Godfrey:
I'm just sitting across from you hearing it's a hypothetical, I know, but it kind of feels good to hear that even in a hypothetical situation. So I can see that would be very effective. And I can definitely see how easy it would be to try to convince the child that you're not in a situation where you would ever need to do that. And it would not feel like talking to them out of it. It would just be shutting down lines of communication. And so it makes a lot of sense to me that if it's a yes, if it's a no, whatever the answer is, you want to do whatever you can to keep the lines of communication open.

McKinley:
We have a tendency to minimize because that feels safer. We don't want it to be a problem either. We don't want our kid to be suicidal or so you want to say, well stop that, you know, turn that off. And  be done with that and let's move on, but that's not going to help them feel better. That's going to shut them down. So rather than minimizing, just continuing that supportive listening relationship. And I'll tell you, I think that our most impactful moments of suicide prevention are way before that crisis conversation, right? It's our everyday interactions that open up that line of communication. It's our mundane validation of the child's behavior. Whatever it is that matters to them, if we've told them that their thoughts and feelings matter on a consistent basis, when they're struggling, you've made that investment. And that's when that particular conversation goes a lot better because you've proved to them that you're a trusted person.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So keep the conversation going with your child, ask about suicide when you can, when you can make it part of the conversation, whether the answer is yes or no, don't minimize. Keep the communication open. What signs should parents watch for? They should talk with their child about suicide regardless, but what are the warning signs to be concerned about?

McKinley:
So we're going to talk about three primary areas of concern, where warning signs are typically expressed, what words, what they might say, actions, things they might be doing and circumstances or situations they might be in. So with words, anything that would indicate that they feel like a burden, this family would be a lot better if I weren't here, or if they're often expressing feelings of even loneliness isolation. I don't have any friends or I don't have anything that I could be doing. You know, they feel bored often. I mean, they're expressing that they're just don't feel value in their life or feel purposeful or and especially again, I'm going to say this word again, because it's very important, that they feel like a burden to their friends or to the family, that they're not worth something.

Okay. And also with words, they may say something about hurting themselves and that's important to take seriously. Even if it's ingest sometimes. Sure. So whether they're talking about feeling like a burden or even hurting themselves and then actions, so when it comes to behavior, you're looking for big changes. And sometimes I guess I shouldn't say big changes. It might be subtle changes, but something that's off in how they're acting, whether that's sleeping too much, sleeping, too little eating, too much eating, too little increases in substance abuse, they're isolating withdrawing. And then the third area is situations. So if you know about a breakup or if you know about, they were cut from a team or even a divorce in your family or the loss of a friend or a family member, someone who's died, those are situational factors. That really what you're looking for is a combination of things. You might hear a few words that are a little bit off. You might see a few changes that in their behavior that are a little bit off, but you also might be aware of some circumstances. So it's not that every breakup is there on the path to hurting themselves, but if they've had a breakup and they've also been acting a little bit differently and not dealing with it, how you would expect, and you've also heard them saying some things that would indicate they don't feel valued, I would be concerned.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay, we're going to take a quick break. Then we'll be back with McKinley Withers to talk about how we can keep our home safe and what resources are when we do see that there's a problem.

Break:
Hey, you okay?

Yeah. I just have a lot of stuff going on in my head.

You need to talk, dude, stop hiding behind the happy face. Talk with no filter, get the safe UT app, download it now available on the Apple app store, Google play or SafeUT.org.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And we're back here with McKinley Withers, the Health and Wellness Specialist for Jordan School District. McKinley, tell me how can we create a safe environment at home?

McKinley:
So there are a few things to think about when it comes to safety in the home. We've already talked a lot about safe conversations, so it's important to keep that safe conversation going. That it's okay to talk about these serious topics with our children and to build their trust with them.

When they are struggling, the other type of safety is physical safety. We want to create a home environment that if someone were struggling and they were going to make an impulsive or sudden decision to hurt themselves, that there is time and distance between them and something that would hurt them. So to create that kind of safety, we need to consider primarily two things, pills and guns.

Oftentimes we don't think to lock up or create a distance or time and distance between a child and pills, but that's an important thing to consider in your home. Does my child have too easy of access to pills and the other is guns? Those need to be locked up, kept away from children. If there is a combination on a safe, change it, just so that you're confident and certain that your children don't have access to a loaded gun.

Superintendent Godfrey:
McKinley. What resources are available to parents who are worried about their children?

McKinley:
So there are several and your greatest tool is in most people's pockets. Your cell phone can be a great resource. If you'd say to Siri, "I'm thinking about hurting myself or someone in my home is thinking about hurting themselves", Siri will automatically offer to call the National Prevention Lifeline. That's something you can try just to practice it. Know that it's there. You can actually just call that number. So that's 1-800-273-TALK, so you just spell talk.

You can use the Safe UT app, which will connect you to the U of U Crisis Line, which you can also just call directly at (801) 587-3000. The U of U Crisis Line is connected to the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team in the Salt Lake Valley. So if there is the need, for someone will come physically to your house to support an individual who might be struggling. Then that team can be reached through that number as well.

And then also, you can check wellness.jordandistrict.org. There are a number of resources and connections for those difficult situations.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What about school counselors and school psychologists? Parents can always contact them for help.

McKinley:
Definitely. Yeah. We've got the best in the business as you know. So if you're not sure where to go, the individuals at your school can help you. They are great people who care about kids. No question about it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. Well, thank you very much for your time McKinley. I recommend that folks listen to the other podcast episode we already have, and we'll have future podcast episodes about happiness, health, wellness, how to connect, communicating well with your child. It's really about creating that healthy environment at home. So thanks again for all your help.

McKinley:
Thanks for having me.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thanks for joining us on the podcast. And remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you.

McKinley:
If you or anyone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or locally by calling the University of Utah Crisis Line at (801) 587-3000 or download the Safe UT app.

Show Audio Transcription

Utah Jazz legend Thurl Bailey talks about growing up in a home where he was never allowed to be average. He even sings for the Superintendent.

Then we hear from a second grade student, a middle school student and a high school senior. They all have questions for the Superintendent.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Today we take our podcast to new heights, literally, by talking about the importance of education and learning with six foot 11 inch Utah Jazz legend Thurl Bailey. Then we'll head back to the studio to visit with a second grader named Lincoln, a middle school student named Cade, and a high school senior name to Emily. We have a lot to learn from them, so I hope you'll stick around. But first here's Thurl Bailey who gave us a little taste of his musical talents. [inaudible]

Superintendent Godfrey:
Here with Thurl Bailey, who just gave an inspiring speech to our Administrative Leadership Conference between us. We have 12 years in the NBA and it's been a great experience to be able to talk with Mr. Bailey here today. Thanks again for being with us. You talked about how people in your life had a big influence in your success. I was really impressed with that. Your message wasn't about you. It was about the influence of important people at key moments in your life. Can you tell us about the role that your parents have played in your success?

Thurl:
Well, my parents obviously played the major role in me being the type of person I am today. And as a parent now, I understand the job of a parent is to be that influencer and teacher at home and disciplinary. And then, growing up in DC, a lot of kids didn't have that. They didn't have a mom and a dad that were there and parented jointly. So I was very fortunate. They really laid the foundation for us as kids. Education was number one. I was threatened that I couldn't come home with C's or below by my parents. And, in your mind, you wonder why, because a lot of people will say, well, a C is a passing grade and my mom made it clear that C was average and she didn't raise average kids.

And so our goal was, our job was to go in and do above average work, do the work and, and ask the right questions to the right people. And so it was just a great foundation, especially in an environment I grew up in. And I just believe that everybody we come across are influencers and educators in one way or another on the positive side and on the other side of it. So in the end, it really is about having information. It's about getting that education. And it's about understanding that people are there for you and to help you if you want it. We know a lot of people who will sit there and not ask a question and fail because they don't take it the next step further and ask the question. So my parents really gave us a really good beginning of how to communicate and then just how to progress in your life.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I love the message from your mom about expectations, that she expected you to be working hard and to achieve. And she would accept nothing less and expectations make a big difference, right?

Thurl:
That's what was implanted early. And that's really a good point you're making because if it's implanted early on, the parents are reinforcing that, right? The kids have a certain expectation. It's not just about their achievement. They want to do it for other people. They want to show their parents that they're working very hard, but until that's consistently planted in you in the beginning, a lot of kids don't have that for one reason or another. Maybe some of the reasons aren't their fault, but that's when you have other people like these educators and the administrators that come into their lives and tell them, I see that potential in you. I know you can do it. And I'm here with you. If you want to commit.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You know, it's really hard to hold the microphone up that high. It kind of wears on my arm a little bit. Any last words of encouragement for our students that, you know, times are tough. There's a lot of anxiety out there. Kids are working hard. Social, emotional wellness is something we really focus on. Any words of encouragement for kids out there that may be struggling or questioning their own worth.

Thurls:
Yeah. I say, you've got so much potential. One of the things that I try to encourage kids to do is to find what they're passionate about. Find something that they're passionate about and don't ever, ever think that they can't achieve it or should go through it alone. There are people that care, there are people that want to help and their development and in their success. I know you don't know anyone who's ever been successful on their own. And so they have all the tools and the help that they need, but sometimes it takes a little courage, right? To take that step and say, listen, I need help. This is what I want. I'm passionate about it. Can you help me get to the next level? Or can you help me find someone who can help me with this? And I think that's one of the things that a lot of technology has taken out of a kid's somewhat, is the ability to communicate and do that without having to be through a phone.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you so much great messages. And I've watched you for a long time as a player and a commentator. And I can't tell you what a thrill, it's been very inspiring day to spend time with you.

Thurl:
Thank you very much. Take care of the best you.

Superintendent Godfrey:
We're back in studio. Thanks again to Thurl Bailey for sharing his thoughts on education. Now, we have superstars of our own who've been kind enough to join us.

Students:
Gabe I'm from Oquirrh Hills and I'm going to ninth grade. I'm Emily, and I'm going to be a senior this year.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Tell me about what you're looking forward to and what your plans are and hopes are for the coming year.

Gabe:
I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of new people, a lot of the new teachers that are transferring into the school, and I'm hoping for it to be a great year and have some pretty good teachers.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah, that's great. I'm glad that you're looking forward to meeting new people. That's a big part of being in school. It's kind of a target rich environment for making your friends and for being able to connect and have some fun. How about you, Emily? What are you looking forward to this year? Senior year?

Emily:
Yeah, the big one. I'm really excited for the classes that I'm taking. I'm through with all my required classes. So I'm doing business law and sports marketing, just getting into some more specific classes that are gonna be really interesting to me.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So do you know what you want to do?

Emily:
I know I'm interested in marketing, but hopefully the classes will give me a little bit of direction because right now, I don't know.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's a great part of high school. You get to try some things that maybe you won't be able to do down the line that gives you a little bit of a chance to experiment and see what you like.

Emily:
Yeah. I'm really excited for it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's great. Lincoln, what are you thinking about for this coming school year? What are you hoping for this year? What are you excited about going back to school, going to second grade?

Lincoln:
So you're excited about moving on to second grade by the end of first grade where you kind of looking forward to second grade already.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What do you like most about school? You like what? You like the end of school? Well, I think we all liked the end of our day and when we feel the accomplishment of getting to the end of the year. We'll come back again to you, Lincoln. Let's talk a little bit about, there's actually a book out there that you probably haven't read because it really wouldn't apply to you. But I think you may have some insights the book has to offer. And the book is "What I Wish My Teacher Knew". So I'm wanting to ask you that same question, not any specific teacher of yours, but we've all been through school. All adults have been through school at one time or another. And so we all sometimes get the impression that we know what it's like and that we can remember what it's like and that we haven't figured out. So can you tell me anything that you wish adults knew that they don't seem to know about what it's like to be in your shoes?

Emily:
I feel like a lot of classes that I have just so many assignments and so many worksheets, and you're moving through these units really quickly. And there isn't enough time. I don't know. I feel like there's too much emphasis on turning in your homework and getting a good grade on a test rather than actually understanding what you're doing. And so I wish that classes could move a little slower and I know there's curriculum that you have to cover, but sometimes I think it could be a day or two extra, like to fully learn things.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So sometimes it feels like maybe there's too much happening in too short a time.

Emily:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. How about you, Gabe?

Gabe:
I wish the teachers knew they need to get more involved with students because kids learn better when they're having fun. I remember things when I was having fun back in elementary and I remember those things more than I did when I was just sitting behind a desk, looking at a paper.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So when teachers are engaging, when they make things fun. And they involve their students. Okay. So you definitely couldn't tell a class that's focused on students and that brings that out. Okay, great. Lincoln, what are some of the things that you really like that your teachers have done in your class? What are some things you really liked about your first grade teacher?

Lincoln:
She started with an ELA class. So you like your friends in the class and her name started with L like your name.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh, Ms. Lee Lincoln. That's awesome. Can you remember any of your favorite books?

Lincoln:
The book with no pictures.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Alright. We're going to take a quick break and we'll be right back. Stay with us.

Sandra Reisgraf:
If you're always looking for opportunities to learn something new, why not join us for the next Jordan Parent University? Jordan Parent University is an opportunity for parents to better understand issues that impact their own students and education. It's an evening class designed to help parents with things like planning for the road beyond high school, better understanding  of students' social and emotional health and wellness. And knowing who to call when there are issues involving a school or a student, Jordan Parent University is free and open to the public. For a list of upcoming classes, times and locations go to jpu.jordandistrict.org. See you there.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome back. We're here in studio with Gabe, Emily, and Lincoln, talking about the coming school year and asking what their goals are for the school year to come. So I'm just going to ask each of them to talk about one goal that they have for the school year. Okay. So Gabe, why don't you tell us.

Gabe:
One goal I would like to see the school year is to have classes that are more in depth into certain subjects, such as salesmanship and marketing.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. So you want to get a little deeper into some of the subjects?

Gabe:
Exactly.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Salesmanship and marketing. Is that something that you're interested in? Maybe down the line?

Gabe:
Yes.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Alright. Very good. What do you want to sell? Whatever's thrown your way?

Gabe:
Exactly. Whatever works.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. Awesome. And Emily, tell me, what's your goal for this year?

Emily:
My goal for this year is to make more friends and be more outgoing than I have been the past two years.

Superintendent Godfrey:
It's a little bit hard sometimes. Isn't it?

Emily:
Yeah. That's about it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And talk to any old person like me who graduated in the 19 hundreds and they will tell you that they wish they could go back and be more outgoing and be more friendly and make more connections.

Emily:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's great. Great goals. What do you like to learn about Lincoln? If you have a favorite animal, what's your favorite animal?

LIncoln:
A horse.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What do you like about horses?

Lincoln:
Oh, sorry. A horse just walked by.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What do you like about horses? Do you ride horses?

Lincoln:
They're cute. Faces.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Do you know what I say when I see a horse that seems sad? Say, why the long face you haven't had a horse before? Would you like to have a horse someday? Your mom doesn't want a horse?

Well, my mom didn't even want a dog. So Lincoln, do you have a question for me?

Lincoln:
Do you have a dog?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you for asking. I have a dog named Molly. Molly is a white dog. And if I say her name in particular way, she knows, I just might give her a walk and she knows how to sit right on the carpet in just the right spot and look at me and pull your ears up. I'm ready to hear my name called for you to take me for a while. So she understands that she doesn't understand. I've had a long day and I may not want to walk around the block a few times, but I always feel better after I do walk her.

Do you have chickens?

Likes chicken is White Dandelion, Dandelion, the White Chick. When he grows up, he'll eat the most eggs for breakfast. When he grows up, he'll lay the most eggs. Tell you all of them about the eggs, because the ones that lay cool eggs. So some of them lay cooler eggs than others.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's so cool. You know, Lincoln, I might need you to name my next dog because I named my dog, Molly. And that's not halfway as exciting. Given your chickens. I'm glad you liked the name. I feel better about that. Now, Emily, you have two dogs.

Emily:
I do have two dogs. They are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and yeah, I know. And they act the part. They are, have to be waited on hand and foot constantly. Yeah, Barclay and Freckles. They're brothers. They're Barclay and Freckles. Barclay as in Big Bird's dog andFreckles because he has freckles on his mouth and I love them. They're the best.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's fine. How big are they?

Emily:
They're pretty little. They probably each weigh 15 pounds and they're full size. Good size dog to have in the house. Just about Molly. What kind of dog is Molly?

Superintendent Godfrey:
A West Highland Terrier.

Emily:
Don't think I know what that is.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. Gabe, any pets?

Gabe:
I have a cat.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What's your cat's name? Fiona. Fiona. Very nice. That sounds like a cat name.

Gabe:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Interesting. Yeah. A lot of personality?

Gabe:
That's not how I'd put it, but personality. Yeah, pretty much. Fiona just lays around the house or why she lays around and hunts and that's pretty much it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh, she lays around except when she's hunting.

Gabe:
Yeah. So she was an alley cat and she came to her back door and so we pretty much just adopted her from there, but ever since we bought her, we've never had a rat problem.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I can imagine. Sounds like Fiona gives the impression of not being ready to pounce, but then comes out of nowhere.

Gabe:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. She's brought some interesting stuff. She wants brought us a snake to our back door.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh yeah, absolutely.

Gabe:
Yeah. She sat there at the door and just started meowing until we came out to look at it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Wow. And so how does one show appreciation? Do you scratch her and say good kitty?

Gabe:
Oh, I'm terrified to. Better to kill a snake. Who knows when she can?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh yeah. I'm with ya. Okay. Do you have another question again?

Gabe:
How do you decide the lunch schedules? Because at Oquirrh, we are getting an insane amount of new kids and how are we going to decide the lunch schedules?  How does that work?

Superintendent Godfrey:
The school works to set up the lunch schedule and sometimes we have to, every once in a while, we have to have three so that you are split in between class with lunch and you can actually get two tardies in the same class if you're tardy, before lunch. And after that, what we really try to do is boil it down to two lunches. And we have a requirement for the number of hours and days that we held at school. So we try to balance that out with the number of hours that we need to provide instruction and getting everyone through the election. So your school be working on figuring that out.

Gabe:
Awesome.

Emily:
So this is a little bit of a piggyback, I guess, off games question. Just in general, do you ever create a policy for an individual school or is it usually just directing like blanket policies over the whole district?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Our policy manual started back in 1969 and it gets thicker every time something happens that is unique or that we're trying to help protect people. Sometimes something happens at an individual school and we make a policy and every policy applies to every school, every school. We try to provide as much flexibility as we can because just like Gabe pointed out, different schools have different needs. So we try to do things in a way so there are policies that cover issues that relate to every school, but enough flexibility so that schools can do what they need to with their lunch schedule or with their bell schedule and meet the needs of their students.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Lincoln, do you have another question for me?

Lincoln:
Saturdays? What do I like to do on Saturdays?

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's a great question. I like to avoid email if I can, but I really like to go to concerts and listen to music. I love live music, so I like to go to concerts and I like to go out to breakfast with my family. I have two sons and I like to go out to breakfast with my wife and two sons. Molly has to stay at home though. She doesn't get to come with us for that, but that's what I like to do on Saturdays.

Lincoln:
Cause a lot of restaurants don't like dogs to come in? Some of them let dogs come in. Does she likes to stay home?

Superintendent Godfrey:
It's okay. She lays down in the sun. How about you? What do you like to do on Saturday?

Lincoln:
Stay home, man. She knows my mom and dad. That's a good way to spend a Saturday for sure.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Gabe, Emily Lincoln. It's been a pleasure. Have a great school year. And if I can help you with anything along the way, let me know.

Students:
Thank you so much. Thank you.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thanks everyone out there and join us next time for the Supercast. And remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today.

Show Audio Transcription

We head into a classroom at JATC South in Riverton where students are learning how to be barbers and hairstylists. Superintendent Godfrey sits down for his own hair cut and styled. Is it the popular Pompadour or does the Superintendent walk away with a Reverse Fade?

Then, CTE Director Jason Skidmore is in studio to talk about all the opportunities for students at JATC South and what parents need to know about the programs.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. This is a Jordan School District podcast designed to educate, inform, and hopefully entertain you. If it's anything that's important to parents, students, teachers, or anything related to education, it's something we hope to feature on the Supercast. Today, I'm going for a haircut. Probably nothing special about that, unless you know I'm going to the JATC South, which is the Jordan Academy for Technology and Careers. They have some amazing programs there. And one of them is a Barbering and Hair Design program so it gets kids a head start on a career in cutting hair. They mostly work on mannequin heads, but today the hair that needed a little help was mine. So I headed down there and Senior Jose helped me. And he was just the man for the job.

Hi, I'm Dr. Godfrey. Your Jose.

Jose:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Alright. I guess I could have read that on your shirt. How swag. So you're going to give me a haircut today. So you're finishing your hour so you can get a license to be a barber. Is barber the right term?

Jose:
Yeah.

Jose:
Okay. Barber, do you want to hear my eighth grade geometry teacher's haircut joke thatI still remember from eighth grade?

Jose:
Okay.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Ask me if I want a haircut.

Jose:
Do you want a haircut?

Superintendent Godfrey:
No, I'd like them all cut.

Jose:
Okay.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. It's not that it's not that funny. So, I do really need just a trim. I don't want it too short.

Instructor:
I'm Dacia Peterson. I'm the Hair Design and Barbering Instructor. We are overcome just a little bit for your team around the side. We were just talking about his plan of how he's trimming. He will taper a little bit, clipper over comb and then use his shears to  finish the haircut.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What are some of the crazier names for haircuts that you teach? What's the most exotic sounding or exciting sounding.

Instructor:
The Pompadour has been really popular recently.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What else?

Instructor:
Some of the High Fades or a Ball Fade or a Skin Fade.

Superintendent Godfrey:
The Fade is popular. And I feel like my hair is fading on its own and that's not very popular with me. So when you say Fade, I hear something different.

Yeah. That is true.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Will you cut hair while you're going to school?

Jose:
Yeah. After this summer, in the fall, I'm going to go to SLCC for two years. And then go to the U to get my bachelor's degree.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Right.

Jose:
Because one day I just want to have my own barbershop.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Right.

Jose:
I have my own business pretty much.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So do you want to get a degree in business so that you can run your own barbershop?

Jose:
Yes, that's great. Now I'm going to do the taper in the back of your head with clipper over comb.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thanks Jose. Great job. That may be the best haircut I've ever had.

Jose:
I enjoyed doing it.

Instructor:
So that's a great way to get started into a career, to work your way through high school or work your way through college. Make a living. It's a license. They do have a license to go out and cut hair and color and work in a salon when they're done with their Hair Design program.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Savannah, I'm Anthony Godfrey.

Savannah:
Nice to meet you. So tell me about who we have here. Is this mannequin named?

Savannah:
No. I was trying to think of like a fancy French name for him because I name them based off their hairstyles, but I haven't thought of one for this one yet.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh, okay. So you name them, what is the hairstyle that you're giving her?

Savannah:
Right now I'm giving this guy a square layered haircut. So everything is just directed straight back.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And what is the name of that? Just square layer?

Savannah:
Yep. Squared. Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Sure. It's just, a squared haircut. Okay. And his name is?

Savannah:
I'm just going to go for something like Fabio.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Fabio. Yeah. I was thinking John Pierre.

Savannah:
I like that one better. We'll do that one.

Superintendent Godfrey:
With a hyphen.

Savannah:
Yes.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. And is Jean-Pierre his beard gathered at the bottom because you have big plans for that or just to get it out of there?

Savannah::
And we'll get it out of the way later. We're going to do some fun stuff with this. Oh, we have a whole board of different, weird beards you can do. The beard wall is over there that we have.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You have a beard wall? The octopus right there, the Octopus?

Savannah:
Yes. And then there's the Long Boat.

Superintendent Godfrey:
The Long Boat, I don't know that I've ever seen the Long Boat.

Savannah:
Yeah. Some of these, I don't think I've ever seen anyone wear. There's Jack's Barrel right there too. The Hole Chain Man. That's a City. I think there was a person and a city.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I think you're right. I'm not quite sure. That's a very cosmopolitan design. Stubble.

Savannah:
That's shorter.  It's another one of the popular ones that I would see a lot more people.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Would I look more like Brad Pitt if I had a Designer Stubble?

Savannah:
Probably.

Superintendent Godfrey:
All right. I'm back in studio with my hair looking fantastic. And I'm here now with the Director of CTE. That's Jason Skidmore. And I've asked Jason just to give us a little bit of an overview of the programs. Tell us a little bit about yourself first, Jason.

Jason:
Hey Superintendent. Thanks for having me in today. And can I just say your hair really does look amazing. They did a great job. So glad you were able to stop by there.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you. That's not a compliment I get very often, and yours, Jason, if I may say, it looks incredible.

Jason:
I did stop down there the other day and they were needing to do something with a razor. And so my head was perfect for that. And I'm happy to say I left without any scars. We all have our role to play. So that's awesome.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Well, I was really impressed with the program. Your teacher is awesome. The kids obviously are really engaged in that. But that's just one of the programs that's available there. Right?

Jason:
Right. The Jordan Academy, the South campus that you were at, was designed to house many of the programs that we couldn't fit inside our traditional high schools, as you're aware. The Barbering program is one of the gems of that center. Many of the school districts across the state have kind of gone away from traditional education in career fields like cosmetology, barbering, nail technicians, even diesel mechanics or welding. There's a great need for those, but the training has been difficult to find qualified instructors to do that. And so we're fortunate to have some great instructors that help get our kids through that program.

Superintendent Godfrey:
It's a nice facility too, at the JATC South. What are some of the other programs that are available?

Jason:
So at the South campus, we have by our Science, Introduction to Firefighting is basically that program. We work with Unified Fire Authority and they train all of our students, introduce them to the field of a fire. We've got EMT. They also do that same. And students can walk out with a combination of fire science training, as well as an EMT, which qualifies them to work for any of the fire authorities or ambulance crews here across the state.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Both of those programs have a fairly military approach to the way they run things. There's a lot demanded of students. And I think that's what draws kids to the program. They know they're going to get a lot out of it.

Jason:
It does, you know, it's rigorous, not just mentally, but physically they gotta put a lot of time and effort and training into that.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So you've had it right on a very military-like structure to that program, right?

Jason:
Same with the Criminal Justice Program. Students can get an introduction to law enforcement. They work closely with the prison and other security facilities across the, the region. We also have a Web Design, we have a Game Design program that's housed at that campus. I mentioned the Nail Technician. There's diesel, and the welding technology. And so students can get a hands on and they get certification before they walk out the door so they can walk into any kind of welding facility. We also have available to students a Teacher Education Program.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So, students that are interested in going into education as their career, as you know, we have a shortage of teachers and it's something that Jordan District has taken on and doing, has had that program for many years. So well, it's a great place, great programs, great people providing that opportunity for students who can really come out, ready to work, whether they choose to do that profession longterm or whether it gets them through the next phase of their schooling and training. It's a really great step up to the next next level.

When we come back from our break, we're going to learn a little bit more about some of those individual programs and how you, as members of the public, can interact with those programs. But first, we'll take a little break. Join us again in just a moment.

Sandra Reisgraf:
In Jordan School District, the possibilities are endless for anyone looking to grow with a team of professionals, working together to provide the very best for students in education. If you're looking for a great job with great pay and benefits in a supportive environment, head to work@jordan.org and find your future career in Jordan School District. People come for the job and stay for the adventure. Explore the many options apply today.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Alright, and we're back. Jason Skidmore, the CTE Director for Jordan District is going to tell us a little bit more about some of the programs at JATC South. Tell us a little bit about the Nail Tech program.

Jason:
Our students who started that program, learned not only the basics of nail care, they understand color, they understand the chemicals that are used. And so they have to run a very safe environment in order for the clients come in and out of that center, as they prepare for their future. So it's all part of that. There are various competitions that students can attend and we've been fortunate. We've got a fabulous instructor and she's prepared for as all of our students. And over the last few years, we've had two or three students who continue to climb to the top across the state and actually competed at the national convention competition this last summer. We're always excited when students can not only show off their skills in the classroom, but when they can take them outside. That's one of the values of any CT program. It's not just in the classroom, it's what they can do in the community. It's what they can do in the career field. It's also what they can take into their personal life and develop their own interest in their own entrepreneurial spirit to create their own business.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So, if there's a parent out there who thinks, "Hey, I would love my son or daughter to be involved, or I know my son and daughter would be interested, what's the best way for them to approach that. Are there open houses? How can they find out more about the programs?

Jason:
There's an open house we hold every year, but probably the best thing to do would be to contact the school. You can go to jordantech.org and that'll give you the basic information and the contact numbers for individuals. You can call the center directly.

(801) 412-1300 That will get them in touch with the front office. And that will start them on their path. We have a counselor full-time there that they can talk to. What's gonna be best for the students and what's right for them, and they can create a plan that'll work for that student.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I would say to anyone out there listening, who has the slightest interest in programs of this type, I would suggest that you reach out and find out more about it because these programs are amazing. I've taken my son to try to get him involved. He's now graduated, but I try to get him hooked into one of those programs just because I love them so much. I think that there's so much to offer kids. And like I said, it doesn't have to be a longterm thing.

Now, there are some services that are available to members of the public who want to come in, have nails done and have their hair done. The EMT services are not available on a walk in basis or the fire services or welding. You can't come in. And I guess you could probably bring a job in at some point they'd say, Hey, I need some welding done.

Jason:
Yeah. On occasion, we do have members of the public that come in there. The one that we didn't mention that would also provide a service is the Greenhouse.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. Oh yeah. That's right. Tell us about the greenhouse. I am the angel of death when it comes to plants.

Jason:
This is the place you need to be and spend some time. So, we do have a 10,000 square foot greenhouse there. And right now they're in the beginnings of preparing for the upcoming season. So next spring, you know, we do sell not only houseplants and annual seedlings or perennials, but we also sell garden vegetables. The community can come in and purchase as they prepare for their garden. And if you'd like some help, we can probably set you up with somebody to help you, Superintendent, to make sure that your thumbs can be a bit more green.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I should get a consult in the spring. I think my family would really appreciate that. So if someone wants to get an inexpensive haircut, have their nails done at a very affordable and reasonable price get some great plants at the greenhouse, they just visit that same website.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Visit the same website, jordantech.org, and that will get them to the right people. And they'll get information on what hours are available for what services and what time of the year.

Jason:
You can support students and get a great product for a low price.

And I would say one last thing. If you've got a student that you think likes to work with their hands, it just may be that's where you kind of see their inclination, check out any of these programs. It may or may not be for them, but if you don't look at it, you'll never know.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Great, great thought. All right. We're going to take a quick break and then we'll come back for our version of Two Truths and a Lie with Jason Skidmore, CTE Director. Thanks for being with us.

Steve Hall:
Hello. My name is Steven Hall. I'm Director of the Jordan Education Foundation. Have you ever experienced what it's like to surprise a teacher in the classroom with school supplies, books, or a classroom grant? Have you seen students all smiles because you care enough to give them a backpack, a winter coat, weekend food packs, or a free holiday shopping spree. It's something we see all the time, because it is exactly what Jordan Education Foundation does. The Foundation exists due to the generosity of people who care about kids. If you would like to be a part of supporting students and teachers in the classroom, contact Jordan EducationFoundation, and start making a difference today, you can find us at jordaneducationfoundation.org.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And we're back with Jordan School District CTE Director, Jason Skidmore. And we've been closing out the podcast with Two Truths and a Lie with the Superintendent. It's your chance to lie to the Superintendent. You know how the game goes. You tell me two truths and one lie, and I have to figure out which is which. Do you need some time or are you ready?

Jason:
I'm always ready to lie to the Superintendent.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You know, that's what everybody says. That's why we call him Stone Cold Skidmore, because he is just all right.

Jason:
I'm as ready as I'm going to be going up against you.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Let's hear it. Alrighty. You ready?

Jason:
I'm ready.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. Hit me. All right. That's a lie. No, I'm just kidding. Okay.

Jason:
So, I spent a week at the Marine course training base and camp men, Camp Pendleton, where I survived the first week

Superintendent Godfrey:
You survived the first, the first week. Okay.

Jason:
I laid in the back of a refueling tanker during a refueling mission.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. Laid in the bed.

Jason:
Well, you have to lay down to control the hose. That's how they refuel those. You don't just stand up and refill it. You gotta know that it's fair enough.

Jason:
And I've was a passenger in the back of an F-16 Atlanta at Hill Air Force Base.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Wow. This is our Veterans Day edition of the Supercast. Let me think here, Mr. Skidmore, or should I say Corporal Skidmore? I'm going to say that you have never landed at Hill AirForce Base.

Jason:
You are correct.

Superintendent Godfrey:
You did a week in the rain train camp.

Jason:
Yes, I did.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Well, you only need a week, so I can say, how did that go as an educator?

Jason:
Okay. So you were kind of recruiting screening where they wanted us to see what it looked like to be a Marine recruit for one week.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I'm in that experience. I am envious of that experience. I think that's really cool.

Jason:
I have a great passion for anybody who goes and serves in the Marines. That'sa tough, tough, tough training.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Do you have to climb the high walls with the rope and all that?

Jason:
The whole introduction into the yellow footprints. If you know that drill, that's the footprints, the day they arrive and they basically strip everything off backpack. I'm not closed, but they basically take them out, cut their hair, put them on the yellow footprints. And that's when the yelling begins. And that does not stop first weeks. I mean, it's a mental break. It's a place where they mentally try to break you down and then they bring you back. Then you arrive at 4:00 AM in the morning. You're tired and you just, it's chaos.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's fantastic. That's great. All I know is the montages and various movies I've watched where the new grunt is climbing up and falls face first in the mud and someone steps on them and they just shake their head because they'll never make it. And then they rise above and triumph eventually. Yes. And well, well done, sir. You've had a wide breadth of experience but I guess you're not as good a liar as you thought you were.

Jason:
Wow. I've lost my name Stone cold.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Thank you very much to Director Jason Skidmore. Go to jordantech.org for more information. Thanks for joining us on the Supercast. And remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see out there.

Show Audio Transcription

Getting the Forecast Right Can Bring More Sunshine into Your Child’s Life
How can parents help manage the fear and uncertainty that comes with a new school year, new environments and new friendships?

Superintendent Anthony Godfrey sits down with JSD Health and Wellness Specialist McKinley Withers to talk about managing change in your child’s life and offers some ways to help overcome the social health crisis we are seeing in students today.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. This is a Jordan School District podcast designed to educate, inform, and hopefully entertain you. If it's important to students, parents, teachers, or anything that has to do with education, it's something we want to cover on the podcast. I'd like to start this Supercast by visiting with a few students. I had a few questions for students in sixth grade at Terra Linda Elementary. So Sammy, tell me, what do you like about school?

Student:
Well, I like making friends because this is my first year at this school, actually.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So is this a friendly school?

Student:
Yes, it's very friendly. I love all the staff and my friends here.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So, do you know what you want to be when you grow up?

Student:
It would be an oceanographer or I want to be a veterinarian or I want to be a photographer.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh, so you've got it down to three choices.

Student:
Yeah, I think you're going to have to choose one. I'm not sure how well those would all overlap. What do you like about sixth grade Gracie?

Student:
How the bathrooms aren't as dirty.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Dirty bathrooms are not old cool. I can't argue with you there. We always appreciate the chance to talk with students and it was great to visit Terra Linda and seeing kids at the start of school. They're just getting going. Things are going their way so far.

And today we get the chance to talk with our Consultant in Health and Wellness, McKinley Withers. He's going to talk with us about keeping that positive momentum that you heard in the voices of the children. I had the chance to talk with and to manage the transitions, stress and workload that, quite frankly, can come along with being a student. We've had a particular focus in the last year in particular on the health and wellness of students and faculty and the social and emotional wellness, just in general, of everyone in the District, particularly students. And we just want to talk about ways that students can effectively manage that. So McKinley, tell us a little bit about yourself.

McKinley:
I've been a teacher and a counselor, and I love working in education. I currently, like you said, work as a Health and Wellness Specialist. I also am a father of two young children who will shortly be attending Jordan School District schools and so I look at this from multiple angles.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Great. Happy you are here. Tell us a little bit about how we can improve overall health and wellness. That's been a real focus in the District and just in general social and emotional health and wellness, making sure that we're focused on happiness and just kids are doing well, because you can't learn if you're feeling stressed out and you're feeling a high level of anxiety. How do we manage that?

McKinley:
So, I always like to start any discussion on happiness or wellness with probably what I see as the most fundamental mindset shift, which is focusing primarily on what you have control over. That is your thoughts and your actions, what you do daily, what you choose to do does matter for your wellness. It matters for your longevity. It matters for your happiness. We often get distracted by all of these outside things that we don't have control over. If that's a new school environment, you know, there's going to be new kids, new teachers, new administrators, new situations that aren't always going to go well. We can't always predict that. Things just, aren't always going to go our way.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So, how do we manage that? How take on the mindset that will help us manage the types of change that happened? Not just at the beginning of the school year, but throughout the year, you're shifting friends, you're in different classes, you're learning different things.

McKinley:
So in order to focus on what you have control over, I guess we can apply it to making friends. So rather than, "Oh man, I wish so-and-so would talk to me more or I wish somebody would sit with me at lunch or I hope that this would happen for me socially and that I could have all the friends in the world".

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yes. And we've all been there. We've all thought that we've all been down that road where, you know, we wish someone else would take care of our social health for us.

McKinley:
Right. But accepting that that's not going to happen is very important to building social health.  So just accepting that and understanding that we can't control everything or everyone is a step in the right direction toward health and wellness for students because then you're directing your energy towards what you can control. So rather than moping all day about not being able to make friends or other people not reaching out to you, try setting achievable small social goals. Instead, say you know, today, I'm just going to smile at someone I don't know. That's achievable, it's small. That's something I can do.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That's great. And that's concrete. So a parent who's talking with a student who's frustrated because they're not making friends can give these types of tips.

McKinley:
Yeah.

Superintendent Godfrey:
To reach out to someone rather than sitting around, wishing someone else would behave in a particular way. Take active steps to try to spark that friendship on their own. Right?

McKinley:
Yeah. Yeah. Setting achievable social goals is what I would call it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. So what else besides achievable social goals?

McKinleyL
Focusing on the fact that there are some things you can change and other things you can't.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What else can parents do to help their students have a high level of happiness and social and emotional wellness?

McKinley:
So, just because of what we were just talking about, let's look at this from social fitness. So those achievable social goals, we are working on our social fitness. These kids have so many opportunities socially. They're there at school. There's a thousand kids at, I mean, maybe not at every school, but many of our schools have found sometimes 3000. There's a lot of kids. So they are surrounded by social opportunities and the number of kids that they are surrounded by that are probably having similar lonely thoughts is overwhelming.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. And part of the lonely thoughts is that you think you're the only one having the lonely thoughts.They're all in it together. They all are suffering socially. We have a social health crisis.

McKinley:
Yeah. So if, if by setting those small, achievable social goals and just focusing on what they can do to build better relationships and friendships, I think that's a really good starting point. But then we're talking physical and emotional fitness too, they're all connected. Right?

Superintendent Godfrey:
So tell me more about the physical, how does the physical relate?

McKinley:
So in terms of happiness, our physical health is so fundamental. We're just talking about basic concepts like sleep, diet, exercise, maybe some sunlight, you know, just those basic things. We need those as humans and we aren't going to flourish if we don't get that again.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And maybe you've been following me around, but I get too much of the eating and not enough of the sleep.

Okay. I just don't think that's a part of the equation. So tell me a little bit about what that looks like for kids. If there are parents looking to help kids improve their physical health and in turn, improve their emotional health, sleep, for example, talk about that.

McKinley:
So I know that you said in jest that you don't get enough sleep that you eat too much, but we're not in jest.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. That's absolutely true.

MiKinley:
The reason I mentioned social health first is because research on longevity, health and happiness would indicate that how long you will live, whether or not your immune system is functioning better than someone else typically ties back to the quality of your relationships. So that really is the foundation of wellness, it is relationships. If we're cranky all the time because we're not sleeping enough, we're not going to have good relationships. And I don't think you're cranky, by the way, even though you don't sleep enough. I think you keep it pretty good.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Look, I think you're protesting a little too much there, so let's just move on.

McKinley:
Okay. But what that says is that there really is a relationship. Relationships are at the center of longevity, happiness health, but unless you're physically healthy, unless you're meeting those small social goals, then you may not be able to create those relationships that you need.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

McKinley:
So, and again, it is all connected because our social relationships affect our emotional health. Our emotional health affects whether or not we feel like taking care of our physical health and as our physical health changes, our emotional health changes.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. Eating a pint of ice cream at 11:00 PM?

McKinley:
Yes, right.

Superintendent Godfrey:
We're going to take a quick break and we're going to come back and talk specifically about sleep, eating right and getting some exercise and how parents can help students meet those goals.

McKinley:
Awesome.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Stay with us.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome back to the Supercast. I'm Anthony Godfrey, Superintendent of Schools for Jordan School District. With me today is McKinley Withers, our Health and Wellness Specialist for the District. And he's going to tell us a little bit more about helping kids get better sleep, eat, right, and exercise so that they can have the physical health needed to have the social and emotional wellness in place that they need to be successful as well. Tell us a little bit about that.

McKinley:
So, I guess a good starting point is with physical health. I think another basic mindset that is important to have is that because we get really caught up, we need to cut out. We need to cut away the screen time. We need to turn off this and get rid of our ice cream at 11 at night, you know. But maybe a better starting point that you can actually get behind is what can you add? Because as you add things in your life, you don't have this void of what you used to do, but you are creating healthy habits for our bodies instead of bad habits. And just start with adding something, that you know is healthy.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So when it comes to eating healthy, I should eat kale at 11 o'clock at night, instead of ice cream.

McKinley:
Well, you can still have your 11 o'clock ice cream, but starting the habit of, as often as you can, inserting something healthy, your body will start to get used to that routine. We work off of routines. Humans are creatures of habit. And so in order to build an exercise habit, you don't have to go run five miles.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I feel like all of this is directed at me.

McKinley:
So I've been watching you for a while. And so I know......

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah, because you're right. My body is not used to green, leafy vegetables. More, you know, combinations of nuts and chocolate syrups. So adding good foods to the diet and exercise can be social. Anything, even a walk with the daughter, walking the neighborhood can be social.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What about sleep? How do parents help their kids get better sleep?

McKinley:
Exercise is one thing. If kids that are active sleep better, but then second before bed we are surrounded by screens and light. There's a hormone called melatonin that is released through your body to help you sleep. And that hormone is inhibited by light. So that's why you wake up when the sunlight hits your eyes, why we have blinds in our homes to like help us sleep better. So with a cell phone right by your bed or with the TV on, you're inhibiting melatonin. And so you're actually preventing your body from its natural sleep cycle. You're not as likely to go through as deep of sleep. And so I think that starting there too, just being mindful of screens simple. There is a strategy. Is there a television? Is it on? Is there a phone? Where's the phone? Is it going to be buzzing often? You better to buy an alarm clock, even though that feature is available on the phone and set the phone down in another room. The phone doesn't even come into the bedroom at night.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. All right. So let's talk about happiness overall. I've heard you talk about happiness before. We don't really understand our own happiness very well. So it becomes difficult maybe, to help our kids be properly focused on how to be happy. Tell us a little bit.

McKinley:
Right. So there's actually a lot of research that suggests that we are bad predictors of our own happiness. We are bad happiness weather people, if it was a forecast and we were doing the weather and we were trying to predict our happiness. We're going to miss it nine times out of 10, just like the weather.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Fair enough. That's great. So just the weather people do get it wrong sometimes. Sorry, everyone.

McKinley:
Yeah, they do. And we do too. I mean, if I was to ask you when is the last time you had the thought or feeling that some change or event that you anticipated was going to completely alter your happiness.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Right. As soon as I get this done, as soon as this presentation is over, or this meeting is done or I've finished this task, then I'm going to be okay. And so kids have that all the time. As soon as I get this project done, then I'll be happy.

McKinley:
Yup. Or even if we over predict how bad something is going to be for us too. So man, if this breakup happens, it's the end of the world. Well, our happiness forecast, even in those situations, we adapt a lot, but we don't give ourselves enough credit for how well we psychologically adapt.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So, if parents talk with kids, it's not going to be that bad, but also it's not going to be that good.

McKinley:
Right. Just because you finished this project or there'll be another person. There's something else coming. If you have this difficult social situation, there'll be another difficult social situation, but you'll get through it. You're tougher than you think.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Right. Okay.

McKinley:
And it's still important to validate emotions. Don't say, "well, now that you're sad or you think this is the end of the world, it's, it's not, you'll get over it". That's probably not the best approach.

Superintendent Godfrey:
But that's a good point then. So you like this balance?

McKinley:
Yes. Just understanding that for your child and for you. We adapt so much better than we would think to our situations and to the negative events and the positive events. And when we think something would be our home run, a couple of months down the road, after you get your promotion or after this or that it's back to normal, what are your eyes on next?

Superintendent Godfrey:
Sure. I read a book once that talked about how, if you think in terms of worst case scenario, sometimes we aren't realistic about what the worst case scenario really is. What's the worst that can actually happen if we really think about it and analyze it? A lot of the things that worry us aren't ever going to get as bad as our imagination would suggest. So what are some other things that we can do to be better focused on our own happiness or better predict our own happiness or better contribute to our own happiness, especially as parents are trying to help students?

McKinley:
So I'm going to come back to what we were most recently talking about because, what I think we can focus on is what we know actually does make us better off. Even though we often say these circumstances or these different life events are what leads to happiness, they're very minimal in terms of actually contributing to our happiness. What really makes a difference is what is our daily practice. What are our thoughts and actions that we have made a routine. That's what makes the biggest difference. So, something as simple as adding a practice of gratitude, that can help a lot of ways for a lot of different people. But the reason you would do that would be you're essentially exchanging your expectations of what should be. When you walk into a new school on the first day, we all have different expectations for how we will be received, how someone will approach us or how this class will go. Even that project that is stressing you out. We have these expectations, but trying to train our brain to appreciate more, exchanging those expectations for appreciation, it takes practice because we have a negativity bias.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I heard a speaker point this out by holding up a white piece of paper, they put a small black dot in the middle and they said, "Write about this piece of paper". And everybody wrote about the dot. Nobody wrote about all of the white, so you're right. We do focus on the small negative over the non whelming positive.

McKinley:
Yeah, yeah. There is always something that has gone right. But you have to train your brain to recognize it and practice reporting it because knowing that doesn't make a difference, it's the practice of it that will change and alter your head.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So maybe that changes the questions parents ask of their kids at the end of the day.

McKinley:
Yes. Because if we just say, how was your day, that allows room for the negativity bias to take over. But if we say something like, what are some of the great things that happened?

And it's okay for kids to acknowledge when bad things happen, but it's also good to build again. It's adding where we're missing. Sometimes there are bad days and we need to talk about that. But on every bad day, there's at least something good that you can come back to.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So like you said, ,it's this balance that you referenced before where it's not that you exclude the negative and pretend it's not there, but you make sure that you add in the good and ask about the good as well. Right? My son is 18 now, my oldest, and he's graduated, but I couldn't get information from him about the school day. I would try any type of interrogation technique. I could get a positive or negative. We'd hear from other parents whose kids had told them there was this huge fight at school. Was there a fight at school today? Oh yeah. Yeah.You would not know the place. Okay.

Well, good questions at the end of the day for kids that focus on the positive and give a chance to acknowledge the negative as well, can maybe fight against the negativity bias that can get in the way of fully enjoying the good things that are happening. Mckinley, that's great advice on happiness. We're going to take a quick break here and we'll be right back. Stay with us.

Sandra Reisgraf:
Do you want to know what's going on in Jordan School District? Maybe see your child or a friend featured in a school story? Check out our website at jordandistrict.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at Jordan District. Let's connect today.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome back to the Supercast. I'm Anthony Godfrey, Superintendent of Schools for Jordan School District here with McKinley Withers. Thanks for spending time with us McKinley. Great advice about happiness, social and emotional welfare, and just how to manage change and make sure that we're as well off as we possibly can be and that we can help kids be healthy in every way. So thanks. Great tips. Great advice.

Now we want to have a little fun. I want us to get to know guests a little bit better. So we're going to play Two Truths and a Lie. I know that you don't generally lie because you're a standup guy, but the time has come for you to tell a lie to the Superintendent. Generally not a good idea, but today let's get there, man.

McKinley:
I'm trying to think of what I can get away with right now.

Superintendent Godfrey:
This is good. That's a good set up. Okay. Alright. Time to lie to the Superintendent. Tell me Two Truths and a Lie and let me see if I can figure out which is which, okay? Let's tie it up to a lie detector. You guys are going to detect this.

McKinley:
I practice what I preach with healthy eating. I avoid soda.

I went to a high school dance with Julianne Hough. Oh, okay.

And I grew up in Jordan School District Schools. So I have been in Jordan District my whole life.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I think number three is a lie. I don't think you went to Jordan SchoolDistrict schools.

McKinley:
I did. So I grew up in Sandy.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay.

McKinley:
And that was when Jordan School District was included Sandy, so I've always been a part of Jordan School District.

Superintendent Godfrey:
All right. Do you drink soda?

McKinley:
I do drink soda.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. So what school, when did you go to a dance with Juliana? I assume you were in high school.

McKinley:
I was in high school at the time. It was, it was the Halloween dance my senior year. So she went to Alta High School and graduated the same year as me.

Superintendet Godfrey:
So, how did the dancing go on your part?

McKinley:
Oh well, I heard that the partner elevates the person, you know, quality of dancing because you were with a superstar. So when I think back to that experience in my naive little high school self, I was not a good dancer, but I didn't care. And I didn't really know, when I think back, dang, I really blew it. You dance like a star. Wasn't watching. That's exactly how it went. I think she was probably embarrassed, now looking back, that she was with someone that dances like I do, but you know what, that's going back to what you said earlier. WE both got through it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Well, thank you for being with us today. It's been great having you great advice. And what's the website they can visit if they would like more information?

McKinley:
So we have the Wellness Website at wellness.jordandistrict.org. We are in the process of adding more content. So there's always more there. There are great links there and we encourage parents to go on and contact school officials if there are issues that you need help with and your family.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And thank you. Thanks for being here.

McKinley:
Thank you.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Alright, thanks for joining us for the Supercast. Keep listening and remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you next time. [inaudible].

Show Audio Transcription

Get the 101 on teen-vaping and find out what signs to look for in teens that are a part of the dangerous trend.

Superintendent Anthony Godfrey is joined by Assistant Principal Stewart Hudnall who brings a variety of vaping devices into the studio and explains how and where kids are using them.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent Godfrey:
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. This is the Jordan School District podcast designed to educate, inform, and hopefully entertain you. If it's something important to parents and students, we hope to feature it right here on the Supercast. And today, we are fortunate to have Stewart Hudnall with us. He's an Assistant Principal out at Herriman High School, and he's going to talk with us about a topic that has been hitting the news a lot lately and has really been taking off. That is the issue of vaping among teens. And he's brought quite an array of, I assume, confiscated materials here that he's going to talk us through. He's been giving presentations to parents to help them understand what to watch for and the impacts. And so, we're very glad to have you here.

Stewart:
Thank you. Happy to be here.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Tell us about your journey and education so far.

Stewart:
I started at Riverton High School. I was a teacher there. I was a business teacher, business and marketing, taught digital media and graphic design, and some web design, financial. It loved it. My dad is an educator and he became an administrator. So I followed in his footsteps. And after a few years at Riverton, I made the jump to administrator and was placed at Herriman High School. This is the start of my third year.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Great. Well, it's great to have you tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you start to pursue more information about vaping?

Stewart:
Well, in the last couple of years, no pun intended, things have exploded with the vaping and the e-cigarettes and anything my students are doing. I'm interested in them, I like to connect with them. Unfortunately, in this regard, it's something illegal with vaping for the students. So every time I talked to some, I tried to learn a little bit more about what it was, what it meant, how it worked, what to look for, what they were seeing, what it smelled like, what it felt like. I tried to figure out everything I could from the students to determine what I could do to help them.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So tell us about what you learned from students about how they feel about vaping.

Stewart:
So for most of the kids, I actually had a few arguments with kids that said, "I wasn't smoking, I was vaping". There was a little bit of a disconnect for them, whether or not they were actually smoking or vaping. And we had that discussion. And in the end, in the eyes of the law, legally, it's the same thing. And so that discussion was had, but what I found out is, with most kids, almost without exception, when I peel back the layers, the reason why they were smoking is they're overwhelmed. They had anxiety, they were depressed. They had something that was going on in their life, oftentimes hard issues going on at home, but they didn't know how to cope with. And so it was a form of self-medicating. I had numerous students tell me, "Hudnall, when I see that smoke come out, it just relaxes me. It's an easy way for me to calm down. And sometimes there's nothing else out there that's going to calm me down as much as taking a hit".

Superintendent Godfrey:
So sometimes it's the process as much as the substance.

Stewart:
The scary thing is, they started because of the process. Nicotine is very addictive and the amount of nicotine varies so much, based on the juice, that they don't realize the amount of nicotine they're smoking, and sure enough, they get addicted to it. And so no longer is it just a coping mechanism. They're not just coping with it, but now they have to have it. They have to have that nicotine addiction.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So tell me, what are some of the impacts that you've seen on students from being addicted to vaping?

Stewart:
A lot of it can be educational. They're not able to focus in class. Kids are sneaking away. We're finding lots of kids smoking in the bathroom. In fact, the joke going around is we installed bathrooms in their vape rooms because to make that more convenient. Most assistant principals I've talked to in other schools say that's where they're finding most kids. They're going to be in the stall smoking. And so they've got to sneak away during class in order just to feel like they can function because the nicotine addiction is too high.

Superintendent Godfrey:
I did have a student when I was teaching in eighth grade, that was late to class. And I finally realized that it was because he needed to have a smoke before class because of the timing of my particular class. And he was sneaking behind a portable and taking care of that everyday. But with vaping maybe is it easier to you to vape indoors?

Stewart:
Absolutely. And that's part of where the struggle comes from. I think the reason why it's become so popular with kids, the stigma's gone. It's no longer that gross cigarette that they have to light. Historically, we could walk down the hall and we could smell the kid that smoked a cigarette because it's such a strong odor. Now it's a fruity smell. Now it's a smell that's going to be cotton candy, fruit, anything in between. And kids are actually even able to do it in class without the teacher realizing it because it's so easy.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So there really is more access, I guess, because vaping doesn't give itself away.

Stewart:
Yeah. In fact, a lot of times when I'll talk to kids, when they're in their cars, in the parking lot, they'll roll down the window. And that's how I can tell they've been smoking because it smells fruity. Most boys cars, when they rolled down the window, say it doesn't smell fruity, but when they roll it down and it smells fruity, I know something's usually going on.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So, now when the car smells good, there's a worry opposed to the way that you used to be able to detect it.

Stewart:
And I think most parents will agree, boys bedrooms, boys cars, they don't always smell the best. And so, when you get a really strong smell of that, we've told teachers in the classroom, it might be the girl putting on lotion, or it might be the kid behind her who took a puff while the teacher's back was turned.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So it does make it much more difficult.

Stewart:
Absolutely.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Given that it is more difficult to detect, and as an Assistant Principal myself years ago, I know that you end up learning a little bit about what kids do to disguise their negative behavior. Can you give any tips to parents about how you have seen kids disguise their devices or their vaping habits?

Stewart:
Well, because they're so small, they're really easy to hide. It's not like it's the big pack of cigarettes anymore. Our most popular device, we're finding, is called the Smoke Novo. And it is really small. It's not quite as skinny as the Juul that most people have out there, but with this tiny device, they're able to hide it really easily in their pocket, or in their hands. Parents aren't going to see that. The two biggest things that we tell parents to look out for is the smell ,because it's hard to hide the smell, and the second thing to look out for is the sound when they ask.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So what does it sound like?

Stewart:
Crackly sound? Um, it's hard to describe, but it's almost like electricity crackling.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Mr. Hudnall, can you give us a demonstration of hat sound?

Stewart:
Yeah, absolutely. This device I have here was actually confiscated from a student at the first hour of the first day of school. He was out in his car. We went out to check parking lots just to see how the law was doing, because we have a lot less kids this year and he was sitting there smoking. And so it actually has enough battery left in it. I can show you the sound.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Perhaps nervous about the first day of school?

Stewart:
Absolutely. And he actually said he's had this one for a year and a half. And so he was not really excited to part with it. It kind of was his favorite, but this is the sound. This is something they can't hide when we go in the bathrooms to do bathroom checks. This is another easy way to tell if the kid's smoking. You don't always see the cloud, but they can't hide the sound. So this is the sound.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And is that the sound just when they start it or throughout the time that they're vaping, you can hear it.

Stewart:
So, anytime that they're sucking on it. So typically what's happening is they're pushing that button to create the vapor and that's what they're sucking out. And so that's what's happening. That sound is happening while they're smoking it. Some devices don't have buttons. Those ones are draw activated, meaning that nothing happens until they put their mouth on it and suck on it. And so it's kind of always on.

Superintendent Godfrey:
But when they take a draw on it, then you don't hear the noise?

Stewart:
Yeah. You don't necessarily hear the sucking. You're going to hear that crackling sound. It's almost like electricity.

And I said sometimes it's hard to see the vapor. Is some vapor easier to see than others, because I know that I've seen folks vaping and it's almost like there's more of a cloud than there would have been had someone been smoking so big, does that vary by device? Or how does the big devices, the ones that will have two, three, four batteries in them, they'll actually use those at competitions as well because they're able to create a gigantic cloud and they like that cloud. But when I was talking to the students, I pulled down a couple of students I had busted and I said, "Help educate me a little bit about this. Why aren't kids using the big cool ones? Why are they using these little ones? "And he said, "Hudnall, the reason why they use the little ones is because they're just addicted to the nicotine."

It's not going to create that big cloud that they want. They can do really cool tricks with those clouds, with those small ones, but mostly, they just need the nicotine hit. It's really easy to hide. They'll blow it in their shirt. They'll keep it in their mouth. Kids have blown in their backpacks, in their sleeves and it just dissipates because it's vapor.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Hmm. Okay. So the device really determines whether there's going to be a big cloud or not.

Stewart:
Absolutely. And you can get plenty of nicotine into your system without a big cloud. If that's what you're shooting for, and the juices have different levels of nicotine. So juices will have three milligrams and some will have six milligrams. And, some will have 24 milligrams for the bottle. Some will even have 50 milligrams for the bottle.

Superintendent Godfrey:
We're going to take a break and we'll come right back and talk a little bit more about vaping and some of the liquids used in vaping. Stay with us.

Sandra Reisgraf:
Do you want your child to live the best, healthiest, happiest life possible? The Jordan School District Health and Wellness Team wants to help make that happen. Visit wellness.jordandistrict.org for resources, and to get information on everything from mental and physical health and wellness to free counseling services for families. Remember, our JSD Health and Wellness Team is here to help. Join us and live your healthiest, happiest life possible.

Superintendent Godfrey:
We're back with Assistant Principal Stewart Hudnall talking about vaping. He's an Assistant Principal at Herriman High School and has had more experience than he would have liked, I'm sure, taking devices off of various students. But to his great credit, has conversations with students to try to understand why they vape and how they vape, so that he has a better understanding of how to help, how to help students who are involved in this illegal behavior. You talked a little bit about the various ways that you have been able to identify that someone is vaping.

Stewart:
It's different from smoking. You could smell someone who smokes a long ways away. The cigarettes can only be stored in a few different ways because they're fairly fragile, whereas, you can easily stash a small vaping device.

Superintendent Godfrey:
What do you call it? I call it a vaping device.

Stewart:
I think it's a mod.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. So you can hide the mod pretty easily and the smoke will depend on the mod or the device that you're using. So can you just recap for us, if you're a parent and you want  to see whether your child is vaping, you listen for the sound, the crackling sound, the vapor, of course, the mod, which is a little device that can even look like a lighter when it's actually, like a USB stick.

Stewart:
Yeah. You have a few devices here in front of you that would be difficult to immediately identify as something illegal. Some of them have more flourish and flare, and that's a little bit obvious. But with others, it would be more difficult to tell.

And some of the kids love tricking out their mods. Like this one. I have a device here that has different customized pieces that the student has purchased, so they can actually spend quite a bit of money on it. They trick it out, kinda like they trick out a car. They can have specialty batteries, specialty tanks, specialty inhalers, specialty bodies. There's a lot of different options that they can mix and match to create it and kind of make it their own.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Do they take a rechargeable battery?

Stewart:
Yeah. So my favorite one is called a mag and it is just like a pistol grip on a gun. And the trigger to pull like on the gun is how they want the device activating property on the mod. But the reason why they call it a mag is, there's a button on there that will drop out the base, which looks just like a magazine for a gun. And so it just slides in and out.

So part of the procedure that you go through is kind of almost like a fidget spinner or something where you'll find kids fidgeting with them throughout the day.

It's something that they like to play with the smaller device. Like you said, it is harder to detect. They all have rechargeable batteries. I haven't seen one yet that doesn't have a rechargeable battery. In fact, the Juuls are what get the most media attention right now. But we actually aren't finding them at my school at all.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Why do you think that is? Is it that Juuls are more expensive?

Stewart:
The number one reason. And this is what I've talked to kids about. I asked him why aren't more kids, Juuling. And they said, it's because it's more expensive. The pod that goes on top that is filled with the juice is not refillable. It's a onetime use. When that pod is gone, they have to throw it away and buy a new one. Kids, being cheap as all high school kids, are not having a lot of disposable income. The Smoke Novo is their favorite. It's the smallest one is the cheapest one, but it also comes with a cartridge that's easy to refill. It has little rubber stopper on the side that they can pop out and then they just buy the juice and then they can fill it and reuse it as many times until the cotton inside is completely burned out.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So where do students buy these? Where are they able to get their hands on a device if it's illegal for students of that age to use?

Stewart:
So you and I, being of age, we can go into any gas station, and just about any gas station or smoke shops are going to have all of these.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Well, you just answered my question. They shoplift them in convenience stores, right?

Stewart:
Most of the time ,though it is behind the desk. And so most kids I've talked to say there's a couple ways. One is they have a friend that has a cousin that's of age that buys it and sells it to them. Usually it's someone that they know that old enough to buy it, and then they sell it to them. Second is Amazon or eBay, because they're not checking ages when they buy it. So they're able to purchase it on the internet and get it shipped to them directly.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So. your Prime membership can get you a mod, next day, or if it's no rush shipping, you get a dollar credit on various digital items as well.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Well, that is remarkable. So we've talked about the devices and it really is amazing the array of devices. It's not like you see a cigarette and you know what it is. This is something that you'd have to keep on top of in order to be aware of the device. I guess if there's something plugged into the wall at night that doesn't look like a phone, then ask yourself some questions about what that device might be.

Stewart
Yeah. I had one kid actually charging his Juul on the Chromebook at school. The teacher emailed me and said, "Hey, I know we just talked about this. I think this kid might have e-cigarettes. Can you come up and check?" And I walked up and sure enough, it was plugged into the side of the Chromebook and charging in the middle of class.

Superintendent Godfrey:
That is relying on the ignorance of adults in a serious way. And it can work sometimes. But fortunately, the teacher in question had been trained and knew what to watch for. That's part of what's scary about this is that it's very dangerous for kids at that age. It's illegal, on top of that, but it's very difficult to detect and easy to get. So, parents need to be vigilant. Tell me about the liquids that are used. Is there ever an argument from a kid, and I honestly don't know enough about vaping to even know if this question makes sense, but is there ever an argument from a kid? Well, I'm just vaping  X or Y that isn't an illegal substance. Is there any type of vaping, depending on what you put in there, that could be legal.

Stewart:
There's a couple arguments. Kids will have one built by Juul that has no nicotine. They call it Nick.

Superintendent Godfrey:
No. Nick in the mod. In the juice. Yes. Okay.

Stewart:
So they'll say, well, there's no Nick in it. And I have to explain to them the nicotine part isn't necessarily what makes it illegal for them to have it, right? It's the smoking in general. And that's what the discussion is. But in the end, they are taking a juice of vapor, a hot vapor in their lungs that has, they don't know what's in it, because it's not really regulated. And so they're not sure what different chemicals are found in it. And they're taking that in their lungs and then expelling it. The second one is CBD oil, which we can go to GoodEarth and buy today. You can go to a smoke shop and buy CBD. It's a part of the marijuana plants, but it's the medicinal parts, right? And so kids are smoking that same, but Hudnell, it's not illegal for CBD.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So CBD, THC, what else?

Stewart:
Those are the two big ones.

Stewart:
So we hear about CBD and THC almost exclusively.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And do they claim, so if they claim that there's something else in there, there's no THC, there's no CBD.

Stewart:
Then the argument is still that you can't vape period, regardless of the substance? And technically, even in the eyes of the law, it's paraphernalia. And so they can't have the device to smoke, even if they don't have any juice on them, it's actually illegal for them to have the device period, because it's for something that is illegal for them to do.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. That does make sense. It's paraphernalia in the traditional sense.

Stewart:
Absolutely.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So, I have to ask about this that you brought here. All of the liquids look quite attractive. It's a candy shop, it's bursting with fruit flavor and it's very attractive. The devices themselves are intriguing. And I have to say, I am a lucky charms fan, and here's this little box of cereal carts, I guess, is the brand of THC, 85% to 90% THC.

Stewart:
Yeah. So this is where we get into the really scary stuff. It's scary enough to begin with because nicotine is so addicting, especially for a young kid to be addicted at such a young age. It really breaks my heart to have those discussions with parents about Nicorette gum, nicotine patches, what their kid can do to get through a whole school day without having nicotine. We've had those conversations before. But when we start talking about the THC, that's where we move into the definitely illegal realm. It's illegal for anybody at this point. And they're marketing it specifically to kids in the younger generation because they have things called cereal carts that are flavored after our favorite cereals. So I'll ask the kids when I have these presentation, what's your favorite cereal. They throw out all these names and just about every cereal they throw out, they can find a flavor for that.

THC. The scary part is what they do as they process the marijuana plant so that it's basically straight THC in that juice. They're smoking the marijuana of our day. Back in the day in the 19 hundreds, marijuana was about 5% to 15% THC. This stuff is processed down to where it's 85% to 90% THC. So the amount of THC their body is taking in is astronomical compared to what it would have been back in the day.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So what are some of the cereals, they have Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

Stewart:
Absolutely. If you just do an easy search online of cereal carts, you can find people that are willing and ready to sell it to you. Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Frankenberry, Captain Crunch, Blueberry Trix, Honeynut Cheerios, Apple Jacks, CaptainCrunch.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh, wow. All your favorite flavors. So even a little box that looks like it has a prize in a cereal box is actually THC oil. Is that what you would call juice or is it liquid? What's the terminology? What would the kids call it?

Stewart:
Well, they just call it Dab, Carts, Dab Carts. So dab, that's when they distill it down, when they process it down and it's a waxy substance, so kids will actually still smoke that in like a pipe or some other way. This has now become the oil. So the Deb Carts is the next iteration of that. It can screw on just about any mod or e-cigarettes in one of those little vials. It has a gram of marijuana in it, and it goes for about $30 to $40 street value. I did find one kid that bought them for $25, which makes me a little nervous where he's getting it because that's really cheap. Most are going for about $30 to $40 while in Dab Carts.

Superintendent Godfrey:
And how long do the Dab Carts last?

Stewart:
It depends on the kid. It's kind of like asking a smoker. How long is that package of cigarettes going to last you? A kid we talked to just last week, said the Dab Cart lasts less than one day when he has it. He sees it that often.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Wow. It's kind of like chain smoking at that point. So the more extreme habits that you've seen could cost hundreds per week.

Stewart:
I sat down with him and bless his heart, he had the conversation with me. I said, "Help me understand that. I'm doing the math and that's like $750 a month. Are you doing a Dab Cart a day? He says, "I don't know. I can't afford that." He says, "But I'm doing about two or three a week". So that's $50 to $75 a week that he's smoking. Multiply that by four and he's using his allowance for his, where he says he gets his money.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. Well, very unsettling, very troubling, but great information to help us try to combat this growing problem. We're going to take a break and we'll be right back with some final tips from Mr. Stuart huddle from airman high school, stick with us.

Sandra Reisgraf:
Do you want to know what's going on in Jordan School District? Maybe see your child or a friend featured in a school story. Check out our website at jordandistrict.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at Jordan District. Let's connect today.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Alright. And we're back with Stuart Hudnall, Assistant Principal here in Jordan School District. He works at Herriman High School, as we mentioned, but this is a problem at all high schools nationwide to varying degrees, and even with younger and younger students all the time. Have you seen this with younger students as well or heard about that?

Stewart:
Yeah, as I've gone around and done presentations, I've had parents and administrators at elementary level. Even down to fourth grade where a kid has had an e-cigarette or a mod on them.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Yeah. It's scary. The way it's attractive and brightly colored and fruit flavored. And it really makes it seem innocuous when it's dangerous and illegal. Can you summarize for us, just come up with some of your final tips for parents to be on the lookout, what to watch for, and then maybe some tips to students about the negatives that you've heard from students themselves that would maybe be a deterrent to students trying this in the first place?

Stewart:
Sure.With parents, obviously, you know, your kids best, any change in behavior can be a concern, keep an eye on them. Spending long times alone, they're going into their room to smoke. That's where a lot of kids are going to do it. And so with that in mind, what does the room smell like when you go in? Is there a fruity smell? Is there a cotton candy smell? Is there something going on in the room or behind the house that seems a little bit different. Keeping an eye out for that. Okay, sound wise as well. If you're hearing a crackling of current, then pretty sure that's going to be your e-cigarette.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. You have faulty wiring in your house. Hopefully it's e-cigarette. It's not a good sound either way.

Stewart:
No, it's not. And it is a scary sound. And then, have those conversations with your kids. Research has shown time and time again, that the biggest deterrent for drug use is parents. And those conversations being open and honest with your kid, have that discussion, ask them about it because I guarantee they've seen kids do it or they know kids that do it. See what their take is on it.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Great tips. Now tell us, if there's a student listening, who's thought about trying this or has started? Tell me some of the ill effects that you've seen that would maybe act as deterrent.

Stewart:
Sure to that. My first thing for the kid is just remember, there's hope. It doesn't matter how deep you feel, like you're in the hole with the e-cigarette and there's no way out. And if you're using it as a coping mechanism, reach out for help. Talk to your administrators, talk to your assistant principal, talk to your counselors. There's other coping mechanisms out there that can help. And we have seen success with kids who have had a serious addiction with nicotine,  to help wean themselves off, be completely nicotine free and find other ways to cope with what's going on because we all have hard things going on in our life, but know that we're here to help and we're here to support however we can. We're not coming from a judgmental side.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. Great advice. So seek help. There's someone to listen and as parents, keep an eye out so that we can help give the support that we need and always let the school know how we can help.

Stewart:
Yeah. In fact, the Cereal Cart that we have, it was a mom who brought it in. After I did a parent presentation, she found it. I'd never heard of it up to that point. And she said, "Hey, I thought you might be interested in this". She was nervous bringing it in, but it was a great conversation we had and really opened her eyes to some new stuff.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Well, I really appreciate you coming by. Things move so fast, it's easy to lose touch, and not be as up-to-date as we think we are. So thank you very much.

Now this has been a heavy topic. It's been really helpful and very informative, but we end all of our podcasts with Two Truths and a Lie. It's your chance to lie to the Superintendent. So, despite the heavy topic, let's end on a lighter note. Mr. Hudnall, can you tell me two truths and a lie? Let's see how my lie detectors working today. I want to put on the poker face. All right. You ready?

Stewart:
I've recently been hit in the face. I recently completed an Ironman Triathlon and I've never smoked.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Hmm. Let's see. Number three is the lie, never smoked.

Stewart:
Yeah. False.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh see, because I thought getting punched in the face and running a triathlon, kind of went together because you are a glutton for pain and punishment if you do a Triathlon. So certainly a punch in the face is really nothing. You were not recently punched in the face?

Stewart:
I was recently punched in the face.

Superintendent Godfrey:
So maybe the most positive thing in all is the lie.

Stewart:
I have not done an Ironman Triathlon.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Okay. Well, see, it's a compliment that I thought that was the truth.

Stewart:
Now to clarify, I do some boxing sparring at a local gym. And so that's where the punch in the face came.

Superintendent Godfrey:
Oh, so it wasn't on purpose punch in the face. I mean, you try not to get hit in the face when you box, well, not on purpose. You knew that was perhaps part of the bargain. I see so many layers to peel back on this particular Two Truths and a Lie. It's been a pleasure. Thank you very much for being with us, Mr. Hudnall. And remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today. See out there.

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