Controversy surrounds newly initiated vape detectors


Quinn Postman, Co-Editor in Chief

With increasing statistics showing students’ usage of flavored e-cigarettes or vapes increasing by 1,000%, according to, many schools have decided to take action against it.

At the end of last year, Superintendent James Santana sent a message to students, parents, and high school faculty informing them of the inclusion of vape detectors in the bathrooms.

The best way to beat the vaping epidemic is to use vape detectors, says Halo Smart Sensor, a multifunctional health, safety, and vape detection device company.

“Vape detectors, like the HALO Smart Sensor, accurately monitor the quality of air and detect dangerous vaping chemicals when present in school bathrooms and send notification alerts to assigned faculty members. They are an effective and affordable solution, and their visible presence acts as a deterrent.”

Students who are caught vaping or possessing vape paraphernalia will be evaluated by a doctor, including chemical testing. The student could also serve a suspension from school for at least one day.

According to Assistant Principal Keith Johnson, the overall purpose of installing vape detectors is “to provide a safe environment for students to learn.”

Johnson has been tasked with answering many questions concerning the vape detectors from students, parents, and faculty.

“As with any new policy and procedure, there will be some growing pains. At first students and parents had a lot of questions regarding the procedures when a vape detector recorded an event,” Johnson said.

Last year, a senior girl came forward with her story about her experience with the vape detectors and even started a petition called “Stop Unnecessary Drug Testing at NVD.”

“Last spring, my friends and I were getting ready for one of our biggest workouts before our state group track meet,” she said. “The next morning, I was pulled out of class and told that the vape detector went off when I was in the bathroom.”

“There’s no denying that NVD has a vaping problem and the sensors are a good way of combating that. However, they claim that they won’t send us without reasonable cause, but there was no vape found on any of us, and we told the administration multiple times that it was spray deodorant that set off the sensor,” she said.

However, according to Johnson, the incidents have dropped dramatically after communications from Dr. Gouraige and the district.

Principal Gouraige’s message, sent at the end of last year, was meant to “clear up any confusion or misconceptions about the newly installed environmental sensors at the high school.”

Gouraige clarified that students wouldn’t be automatically sent to chemical screening if they were in the bathroom when the vape detector went off. Only people with reasonable suspicion will. He also stated that spraying perfume, hairspray, or body spray will not trigger the environmental sensor to alert possible vaping or smoking.