TCAPS Will Install Vape Detectors in Middle, High Schools

E-cigarette use among teens is a growing problem nationwide, now hitting Northern Michigan school districts.

Leaving administrators to figure out how to respond to vaping in school buildings.

Many schools are now installing new technology.

It’s similar to a smoke detector but will detect e-cigarettes.

They can be easily disguised as something like a flash drive with a smell sometimes hard to detect.

“This was one of the major things that we’ve been battling,” said Jame McCall, associate superintendent of student services.

Which is why TCAPS will soon launch a pilot program with vape detectors in their two high schools.

“We want to make sure that students participate in healthy lifestyles,” said McCall. “That does not include the use of drugs or any type of a chemical.”

The school says the detectors will be in places where they don’t have cameras like bathrooms, locker rooms and some hallways.

If vapor is detected in the air, the administrative team will get an alert through the system to their cell phones.

“Our goal here is to do more of a deterrent not necessarily catch students but deter them from actually using the vapes on our campuses and hopefully elsewhere,” said McCall.

The surgeon general called youth vaping an epidemic, saying one in five high school students are currently using e-cigarettes.

Warning this could contribute to “a whole generation addicted to nicotine.”

“I think they should get in trouble I mean if it’s a problem and they’re caught vaping they should be suspended,” said parent Laurie Dwyer.

“If you’re a teacher, it’s a pain in the butt to always be worrying about odds and ends in the bathroom and locker room,” said former teacher and parent Perry Jones. “So yeah I think it’s a great idea.”

McCall says the pilot program will last for two to three months before they decide if they will install the detectors in all of their middle and high schools.