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Chandler middle school installs sensors to detect students vaping

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PHOENIX — A Chandler middle school is using new bathroom sensors to detect students vaping on school grounds.

Carl Nasuta, assistant principal at Aprende Middle School, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday that during a meeting with Kyrene School District’s Superintendent Jan Vesely, students expressed concern over the number of their peers who used e-cigarettes in school bathrooms.

Nasuta said that Vesely spoke with the school’s principal, and they decided to try out the new technology.

“So we were the first school to put vape sensors in our bathrooms in our seventh- and eighth-grade bathrooms here in Arizona,” Nasuta said.

“As students are using a vape or vape device, or even if there’s a lot of sound in the bathroom area, it alerts us via an email or text message.”

He said the school is still working to calibrate the system to make sure that the detectors are issuing alerts accurately.

“The importance is obviously, there’s a lot of health risk with students, especially sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders vaping and using vape devices,” Nasuta said.

“We’re very, very concerned, long term, about helping students and making sure that they’re aware of what they’re putting in their body.”

He said vaping started to “creep into” the middle school last year and is more prevalent this year.

Some students have been caught vaping multiple times and tell him that they don’t know how to stop, he said.

Nasuta said students who bring vaping devices onto campus must meet with the school’s resource officer and may be suspended.

“It’s not about the ‘gotcha’ with the students. Yeah we don’t want them to vape, but more importantly we want to raise awareness to our students and our kids in the community how unsafe it is, and how we can help them and explain to them, long term, the risks,” he said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report. 

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