‘Vape Detectors’ help school staff prevent vaping in bathrooms

Local News

CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Administrators and teachers across the country continue to deal with students vaping in schools.

At West Genesee High School, the administration has installed “vape detectors” inside some of the bathrooms. This is the second year the district has had them. New models were installed this fall.

The detectors can tell when air quality changes. When the vapor is exhaled, it triggers the sensor.

West Genesee High School Principal T.J. Vaughan gets alerts to his phone and email every time a detector goes off.

“I think it is a good deterrent. Our biggest deterrent is our kids day one knew that we had censors here because they googled it,” Vaughan said. “But it didn’t stop them from doing it.”

So when his phone goes off, Vaughan knows he may be headed to a bathroom.

He asked NewsChannel 9 not to show the detectors, which are about $1,000 a piece, in case students decided to get creative in an effort to avoid them.

Vaughan received four alerts of possible vaping on Monday alone. Using cameras in the hallways and referencing sign-out sheets from classrooms, staff can pinpoint who the perpetrator was.

“They are pretty effective on the vape,” Vaughan said. “So, we have had times where we find kids in there and sometimes we catch them in the act or sometimes not in the act but we take them into our office and question them and sometimes search their bags to find what we are looking for.”

Wednesday at East-Syracuse Minoa High School, representatives from several districts across Central New York will be meeting with members of Crouse Hospital to discuss the dangers of vaping. All are welcome to attend. Vaughan will be there.

“I think were just trying our best to keep kids safe. I mean that’s the bottom line of this all,” he said. “Were trying to keep kids from making poor choices and keeping them healthy and safe. So, well do anything for that measure. I mean we have two responsibilities in school; one is the education piece and one is to teach kids how to be safe.”

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