The WWSC School Board voted unanimously to take measures to stop vaping on the WWSC campus.
Assistant Principal Brad Mills and School Resource Officer Aaron Dennis were on hand to discuss the issue of vaping with the board. Mr. Mills shared that this problem is universal to schools across the country and that now is the time to take measures to cut down on vaping in the school.
Previously the board had supported adding detection devices to the school grounds, but Covid played havoc on supplies and ordering the devices. This setback actually allowed time for the technology to improve and Mr. Mills shared his confidence in the new devices that he recommended purchasing. "The new devices we vetted are improved from what you looked at previously and these devices are made in the USA and the technical support will be superior to what we looked at previously."
Mr. Mills went on to explain how hard it is to monitor locations like locker rooms and restrooms due to the nature of privacy afforded to individuals in those locations. Mr. Mills went on to share how the devices work, "The devices detect the vapor in the air and loud noises and frequencies that alert the administration to wrong doing in the location. It then sends a message by email and text to the location and time of the detection. Administrators can then respond or utilize cameras in the hallway to see who was in the restroom at the time. The probable cause then allows us to search to see if a student is in possession of a vape pen."
School Resource Officer Aaron Dennis shared another approach to deter vaping at school, a citation system. SRO Dennis reached out to the county prosecutors office and received support for a citation and fine of $86 for those under the age of 21 and in possession of a vape pen. This strategy has been used at neighboring schools and has been very effective at keeping the vaping devices off campus. "I spoke to area SRO's and discovered that the fine is a huge deterrent and it has been very effective for them. The prosecutor's office supports this measure and those that contest the citation will be subject to a $150 fine if found guilty of possession of a vape pen under the age of 21."
The WWSC School Board unanimously passed the use of the citation as an additional measure to stop vaping amongst our students.
Below is a link to the device featured on the Today Show. A description of the device and video of the program is on the website.