The Rebellion

Administration Installs Vaporizer Detectors in Bathrooms

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Within the past few years, administrators have struggled to grapple with the major vaping issue affecting the entire nation. Walpole High School administration’s awareness of this problem led to the decision to install vaporizer detectors in WHS bathrooms during February vacation. Administrators hope to see a decrease in the amount of vaping within the school in attempts to slowly end this epidemic.

“I think for the last few years, we have seen a major increase in the number of kids caught vaping in school,” Principal Stephen Imbusch said. “Kids would tell you they’re not addicted. I’m telling you, they are addicted.”

These new preventative devices are called FlySense 250. Their main purpose is to detect vape fumes of any kind, including ones containing THC—tetrahydrocannabinol, the main ingredient of marijuana—and nicotine. It is also capable of detecting a rise in noise frequencies: in the case of a fight or an argument taking place, the detector also alerts an administrator and any accompanying faculty.

“I can put in whomever, whichever phones I want to receive a text message,” Imbusch said. “I can set the sensor to whatever decibel level I would like it to be so it’s not too sensitive.”

Imbusch and fellow administrators have not seen a significant change yet; however, dealing with these situations is now easier because of the new detectors. If anything, these devices have only brought the true extent of this problem to administrators’ attention, since Imbusch is now capable of detecting kids he was not able to locate before.

“The idea is that we can do the work afterwards; we don’t have to be there necessarily when the detection comes in because the time stamp is on it, and then we can pursue it and talk to those kids,” Imbusch said.

Just decades ago, there was also a similar issue at Walpole High School: smoking cigarettes. Administration managed to get a strong hold on cigarette smoking at the high school and eventually reached a period of reprieve. Though WHS no longer has to deal with cigarette smoking on school grounds, the emergence of vape devices created a new problem for administration.

“We are really disappointed in this whole vaping problem because a number of years ago, we had actually got to a point [where students] had stopped all cigarette smoking. Now, it’s so much worse now than it ever was with cigarettes,” Imbusch said.

The issue of vaping on school grounds is evidently not just a WHS problem, but one that has marred the culture of high schools in surrounding areas.

“I meet with principals from 20 or 30 schools around us. We talk all the time because different schools are doing different things because we all are having trouble with vape,” Imbusch said.

Some students support administration’s decision to install these devices because they believe students should be held accountable for their actions.

“That’s [the vaper’s] fault. It’s their own loss from doing that rather than just focusing on school,” an anonymous WHS student said.

For the benefit of the entire school community, administrators have implemented these new detectors in hopes of changing the school’s culture and to bring back the times of a vaping-free or smoking-free high school.

“It is everywhere. Everyone does it, both boys and girls. Vaping has become so mainstream and a part of high school culture that it is probably impossible to fix at this point. I think these new sensors will help but make nothing more than a dent in this gigantic problem,” an anonymous WHS student said.

About the Writer
Kaitlin Minsk, Staff Writer

Katie Minsk, class of 2021, is a first year staff writer for The Rebellion. At Walpole High School, she plays soccer and lacrosse. Outside of school, she...

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Administration Installs Vaporizer Detectors in Bathrooms