As vaping related illnesses are on the rise nationwide, a local school district is doing what they can to keep those products off campus and out of the hands of young people.
Niskayuna High School has rolled out a vape-detection pilot program. There are now two vape-detection devices — one in a boys bathroom and one in a girls.
It works by capturing vape odor and movement. If detected, it sends an alert to the head of IT and that information is forwarded to the principal and other staff. That way, security can be deployed to the location.
The detectors have been in place for about a week now. This is part of a partnership with the Niskayuna Community Action Program — which paid for the devices and recommended them to the school district last year.
Since a lot of vape products are very discrete and easy to conceal, the principal hopes this will be key in keeping them off school property.
"We've noticed it relies very much on the technology. They're very small, [which is why they are] easy to conceal, [and they are] virtually odorless. To me, this seemed like a way to match the technology with detection and prevention efforts, and if nothing else it sends the right message to our students this is not something we want in our buildings," said Niskayuna High School Principal John Rickert.
The district plans to install these devices in each bathroom. The principal wants students to remember if they are caught with a vape device it is grounds for suspension. He also encourages parents to continue conversations about the dangers of vaping.