To combat the growing problem of e-cigarette smoke, a southeastern South Dakota school district is installing vape sensors in bathrooms, according to an AP report.
The Dell Rapids School District is placing machines that will silently alert school officials upon detecting vape chemicals in the bathrooms of middle and high school bathrooms, according to the article sourcing the Argus Leader. The sensors cost the district less than $5,000, the report said.
According to the article, students caught e-vaping could face suspension and have to undergo addiction treatment. Repeat offenders could face expulsion and be required to attend conflict resolution training before returning to school.
The problem of vaping has grown as e-cigarettes become more popular among the nation’s youth, and the Dell Rapids School District is no exception. District superintendent Summer Schultz acknowledged that vaping has been an issue, prompting her to inform legislators, the report said.
“It’s an epidemic for our kids,” Schultz was reported as saying. “Kids in Dells aren’t doing any more than kids anywhere else, but it’s an epidemic, and this just seemed like the one way, or another layer, to try to mitigate the damage that it’s going to cause if we continue to let them do it.”
According to the article, South Dakota has had at least six reported cases as of last week. The South Dakota Legislature outlawed vapor devices in public areas effective July 1.