Wayne County Schools use new approach against vape devices

Local News

WAYNE, WV (WOWK) – Children vaping in schools has become a major problem in the Wayne County School District. Now, the school board has partnered with a behavioral health organization in an effort to stop this issue.

In today’s day-in-age, prohibited products being used in schools have evolved from cigarettes. Now, the big issue is vape products. While these products are legal for adults 18 and older, these nicotine products can be dangerous for young adults.

Wayne County Schools Superintendent Todd Alexander says there have been medical incidents that happened on campus involving these products.

We have had a few instances in the district in the past several years where we’ve had students who have had negative medical reactions to the devices and it’s something that we definitely want to discourage from being utilized.

Todd Alexander, Wayne County Schools Superintendent

Unlike cigarettes, vape products don’t give off the same distinct smell or detectable smoke. Which can make it hard to catch students in the act.

However, with the help from the Prestera Center, these products are now detectable. Spring Valley, Wayne, and Tolsia High School received vape detecting devices through a partnership with the Prestera Center that can pick up and alert school officials if a vape product is used.

These devices are now installed in all three high schools, but they’re not like your normal smoke alarms. Once the devices pick up traces of THC, tobacco, and vape chemicals, it creates a silent alarm, alerting school staff in real-time.

However, once the children are caught, instead of suspending the students with no further action, the school district is taking a different approach. Prestera Regional Prevention Coordinator Kim Shoe make says their goal is to help these young adults understand the dangers of these products.

It’s to change the environment, right? It is harmful and it hurts you. So, the end goal would be not to get the kids in trouble, but teach them what vaping does.

Kim Shoemake, Prestera Regional Prevention Coordinator

To ensure these products are not tampered with, their locations in the schools will remain unknown. To learn more about additional resources, click here.

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