By Matthew Shanbom, Asst. Section Editor
During the month of April, a ballot was sent out to parents to vote on which school choice enhancement projects was to be completed by the school. Option number one allocates $7,000 dollars for the installation of vape sensors in the bathrooms. This is a very necessary piece of technology in high schools around the country.
Recent statistics from the national institute on drug abuse in the past month 14 percent of 10th graders and 16.2 percent of 12th graders have used e-cigarettes. If these statistics were applied to the current 10th grade class of 302 people comes out to about 42 people in the grade. Even though the number may seem low, this is a large amount of minors who are committing a federal crime in the past month just in the 10th grade class. If the school were to invest in vape sensors many more students than are currently caught can be stopped and prevented from continuing down a path of illegal substance use.
E-cigarettes can be used as a gateway drug. 30.7 percent of E-cigarette users started smoking within six months of vaping for the first time. According to the national institute on health, 5.8 percent of high school seniors have reporting consuming marijuana daily. Marijuana in the form of THC has been vaped as a replacement for smoking or using edibles. Minors who are caught with marijuana vape pods face a double felony for minor possession and possession at a government property.
Now that it is known how large the amounts of students who vape or use other drugs the need for vape detectors can immediately be seen. Vape detectors can help school security monitors find people who are vaping down to the specific bathroom and the specific time and catch students in the act. Currently, the staff does not have time to be constantly checking the bathrooms, so an alert would be helpful to know when to look. Currently, many students who vape are not caught due to the bathrooms not being checked. If these students are caught and learn their lesson they may be persuaded to quit their habit of drug use or seek help quitting. If drug users are never caught, they will never learn that what they are doing will have any consequences in life.
While the voting for the improvement plan that includes the vape sensors has already closed, the plan will not be finalized until the next SAC meeting on May. 13. It is important to continue to make it known that vape sensors are a necessity for schools to stop the vaping epidemic.