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Noblesville Schools to install vaping detectors

Vape detection sensors being put in schools at Noblesville

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — The Noblesville school district is looking to curb the use of teen vaping by putting new technology in three of its buildings.

This year, Noblesville Schools will install vape detection sensors at Noblesville High School and the Noblesville East and Noblesville West middle schools.

School officials hope the addition will help reverse a growing trend among teens.

“There’s a few kids, about two in my grade and a lot in eighth-grade I know that vape,” said Ashlynne Kirkman, a sixth-grader at Noblesville East Middle School.

Ashlynne says vaping is quickly becoming a real problem in the district.

“I think it should be recognized at the high school especially because there are kids that have gotten caught in the bathroom vaping,” Ashlynne said.

A district spokeswoman says the sensors work similarly to smoke alarms and will notify school leaders when vaping is detected.

Noblesville Schools release a statement saying in part, “These will be an important deterrent as the sensors will assist administrators in quickly addressing student vaping. … We work with our Noblesville Police Department school resource officers to address vaping, and the dangers of vaping are covered with students in health classes.”

Ashlynne’s mother, Shelby Kirkman, said, “I think it’s a great thing to be in place actually. I wasn’t aware that it was a problem until recently. And i think it would be a pro, not very much of a con, especially since the age of legal tobacco use is now 21.”

District officials say vaping has become such an issue that the district recently implemented a new remediation program at Noblesville High School.

Any student who is caught vaping must attend a mandatory Saturday vape counseling class.

While the district continues its fight against vaping, parents News 8 talked to say the sensors are a good idea, but they fear children may see the rules as something meant to be broken.

Shelby Kirkman said, “Initially, it’ll kind of put maybe some fear into the students. But like all rules, I think at some point they might try to be broken. I’m interested to see how that will unfold.”

The sensors are one of the many safety initiatives being paid for through the November 2018 referendum that provided funding for safety, mental health and staff compensation.

No word yet on exactly where the sensors will go in the school or on an exact timeline to get them installed.