ROBINSON, Texas – The controversial and potentially dangerous habit of vaping has been an issue on high school campuses across America, but the Robinson Independent School District has installed new technology to combat it.
Their new “vape detectors” work as smoke detectors for the vapor coming from electronic cigarettes. They are even sophisticated enough to discover exactly what is in the vapor, revealing the ingredients of the vape pens.
“We’re seeing chemicals and rat poisons and all kinds of different things that people put in there,” says Robinson ISD Safe Schools Director David Wrzesinski. “You have no idea what that is when you purchase that from somebody, especially when you purchase them illegally.”
The detectors come in different shapes and sizes, making some easy to recognize in classrooms, but leaving others hidden.
Other schools in the area have already taken after the Robinson model, as Lorena ISD is in the process of installing their own vape detectors.
“”I’m also a big believer that vaping is not going away,” says Lorena ISD Superintendent Joe Kucera. “I think that is going to be this generation’s next vice.”
Both school districts hope to use the detectors as deterrents rather than virtual sting operations.
“It’s not about catching kids. That’s not what this is about,” Kucera says. “It’s about giving our students a reason to say no.”
Robinson ISD has only been using the sensors for about a month. The results, however, are tangible – and some have even been surprising.
“One thing that has kind of resulted out of this is we have got more students that are just turning them in, just giving them to some of our staff members and saying. ‘Didn’t realize this was that bad. Here. I wanna give this to you,'” Wrzesinski says. “We’ve had numerous students turn those in to staff members and say, ‘This is not something I want to do.’ So that is very encouraging.”
Both school districts day only time will tell how effective the sensors are in reducing vaping offenses.