EHS Finally Attempts to Solve the Vaping Problem

Chase Golem, Student Life editor

Walking into the school bathrooms and seeing a puff of vapors and smelling like wild berries has been the social norm for high school bathrooms across the country and here at EHS.  

To combat these issues, administration has gone head on to add “vape detectors” to the bathrooms, but who knows if they will last. 

Over spring break, all EHS parents were sent an email about some upcoming changes to the building over the break. Among some other things in the email, the most notable was the addition to vape detectors in some of the bathrooms. 

They work by sensing specific chemicals in the air from the vapors released from vapes, and then alerting administrators that there was someone vaping in the bathroom. After which, you can expect Dr. Vince Schleuter coming right to you. 

These detectors, I think, are finally a good change and measure against vaping in the school bathrooms. No amount of hall passes, monitors standing in the bathrooms or drug-free posters around the school could have possibly solved this issue, and I’m honestly not surprised it took until now for them to catch it. 

While they’re a good measure, I don’t see them lasting too long – like most things administrators like to implement. Turns out, the detectors are very easy to be fooled. There are a few clever ways that even the kids who are dumb enough to vape in school could easily figure out how to not get caught. 

Tampering is out the window for the vaping fiends, as the detectors are apparently covered with the gray paste that can be seen on the fire alarm pull stations. This stains your hands gray, but if you try and wash it, your hands turn to the same color as that blueberry girl from Willy Wonka. 

Will students still mess with the detectors? Oh, absolutely. This is EHS. I mean, last year students put the soap dispensers on the ceilings and ripped urinals off the wall as a TikTok trend.  

Vaping in schools has been an upward trend, with 28% of high schoolers using a vape according to a study in 2019 – a metric that I expect has gone up significantly in recent years. I also don’t see it stopping anytime soon either. 

Vaping has become such a huge issue among students that the school has had to install these detectors because it’s such a big issue. Students afraid to use the bathroom because of it (I am one of them) and the outraged parents on Facebook complaining about it. 

I’m glad the district and the school are finally doing something about it, because surely having an administrator or monitor standing in the bathroom like it’s some VIP club didn’t deter students from smoking their cherry pens during their English class.  

I see it as a “well, we’re out of options” decision, but not surprised they installed the detectors. I see them working for about a month before students figure out how to not get caught or give up. I also see some purple hands being walked out by Dr. Schleuter.