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A new technology in LaRue County Schools is stopping student vaping in its tracks.
The Hodgenville Police Department and the school system recently installed vape detectors in all of the bathrooms at LaRue County High School and in some of the bathrooms at LaRue County Middle School.
These detectors were purchased through a grant from the Living Well LaRue Coalition at $30,000.
HPD Chief James Richardson said the vape detectors not only detect vapor, but also also key words like “vape,” or whatever the school would like to program. The detectors do not have video capabilities.
Once something is detected, an email is sent to the school staff where they then go locate the students.
Richardson said school staff will use a metal detector search wand to determine if a student has a vape.
The use of vapes is rising at the middle school and especially at the high school, Richardson said.
In one week, Richardson said 20 vapes were confiscated between the two schools.
Richardson said students might adapt to the changes, and they have found students leaving to vape in the school parking lot.
The majority of the vapes that were confiscated were THC and Delta 8 vapes, which Richardson said is law enforcement’s main concern. He said students have used vapes during school hours, and then have adverse reactions to them which disrupts class and zoning out while they’re supposed to focus on school work.
Students also are taking these vapes, and Delta 8 gummies, to sell at the school, Richardson said. Ultimately, these items only are supposed to be handled by those 21 years old or older.
Even though vapes have fruity smells, Richardson equated it to a student smoking a joint in the school bathroom, and that, along with vapes, should not be acceptable in the context of the school building.