Some high schools installing sensors to detect the use of vapes

This article originally appeared on ABC KAKE. To view the original article, click here

(CNN/WLKY) – As vaping among teens skyrockets, some schools are trying to remedy the problem.

It’s small, yet mighty and installed in bathrooms at all four high schools in Oldham County. The Halo Smart Sensor not only detects vaporizing products, but also fights and loud noises by alerting staff immediately through text and email.

“It identifies which restroom the alert is coming from, so an administrator or whoever can get in there quickly and try to intervene in whatever may be going on,” said Eric Davis, director of student services at Oldham County Schools.

Davis says the high schools saw a significant increase in vaping instances this year.

Of the 52 drug and alcohol-related offenses committed by students so far, vaping was a vast majority.

“I’ve seen some medical emergencies that have occurred because of these, and we don’t want that for any kid,” Davis said.

School officials say the effort isn’t to simply punish students, but they can receive suspension if caught.

“There’s punitive measures, but also an element of trying to get a student help if they need it,” Davis said. “They take an assessment and we connect them to community providers for assistance.”

It’s the district’s way of addressing and working to curb a dangerous trend, by taking necessary steps to prioritize the health and wellness of students in their care.

“I don’t know if we have the capability to stop it completely as kids are only here six to seven hours a day, but we don’t want it in our schools,” Davis said.
The sensors began as a pilot project a few years ago and are being funded by the Board of Education.