Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

North Penn High School plans to implement new vaping precautions for the upcoming school year

Awa Harris
A common sight in the North Penn bathrooms, students gathering in the stalls but not for their intended purpose.

In a time of great need, an angel has come to save the student population from the grasp of addiction: HALO Smart Sensor.

According to the Food and Drug Administration’s 2022 findings on youth e-cigarette use, more than 2.5 million high school and middle school students currently use e-cigarettes. These findings also suggest one in four students use e-cigarettes daily. The most common device type students use is disposable e-cigarettes. 

85% of students have also been proven to have developed a sweet tooth preferring to use e-cigarettes that have flavored vapor. 

The main issue about this sweeping plague is that everyone is on the same consensus. Vaping is bad. Smoking in general is harmful to the body. Everybody knows this but there are such small moves to help prevent this smoking from happening, specifically with children. That is until North Penn High School, and other schools across the country, have started to implement new precautionary devices. 

“What we are doing that is new this year is implementing vape detectors. What these devices do is every time a student vapes, it gives an alert that notifies security and administration that vaping is taking place.” North Penn High School Principal Mr. Kyle Hassler stated.

These sensors called HALO Smart Sensors are so advanced that they can even tell the difference between vaping nicotine and vaping THC, a chemical extracted from the marijuana plant.

Along with detecting vaping in the bathrooms, these devices can prevent other tragedies from occurring like fights.

“They also have a decibel reader that can detect a loud noise which can prevent fights. If the decibels go up over a certain level they also send an alert to notify security and administration to go and check the bathroom,” Hassler elaborated.

Hassler defined the driving force behind these implementations, “was that over the last five or six years we have definitely seen an increase. Students used to bring in cigarettes. Kids would be smoking, we would catch cigarettes, and there would be a fine for nicotine. Over the last five or six years we haven’t seen cigarettes. It’s switched to vaping, which is dangerous and bad for student health.”

North Penn is not the only high school to implement these devices. Talks of using these sensors have ruminated across schools all over the county.

Hassler explained, “The county has meetings where the different principals get together and they talk about trends in schools. So if they are seeing things like vaping, they talk about what each school is doing to try to prevent it. There are a number of schools in Montgomery County that have used the vape sensors and they kind of had varying reviews. Some have said that it has been really great and it’s helped them curtail vaping. Others have said that they haven’t really seen a positive effect yet. The hope is that once we put them in, we will start to be able to identify them and then catch students.”

The goal of these devices is not to punish students and simply move on. The goal is to encourage students to stop their smoking habits all together in and out of school.

“We want to put in consequences that aid in educating students about the dangers of vaping and then hopefully we see the rates go down in school. We want them to learn not just academics but socially and emotionally,” Hassler stated.

“One of the things we look at as consequences are vaping sensation programs. The goal of the program is to educate them and then deter them from continuing. We have used that for some students and we continue to look at those as a restorative consequence so if they do get caught we try to educate them as to the dangers so they don’t attempt smoking again,” Hassler specified.

In addition to implementing restorative consequences to help students, North Penn has also considered schoolwide outside resources.

“As we look at Knight Time there are talks of looking at some speakers around drug use and around vaping. We also look at some other things too like social media, there’s a lot of concerns with behavior and social media so we are always looking for people to come in and kind of give some support,” Hassler clarified.

As a piece of advice to students about drug use here is what Principal Hassler had to say:

“I think really the advice wouldn’t just be for in school drug use. We really want to educate students about the dangers of it. My advice would be not to use drugs and for students to just be educated on the dangers of not just drug use but vaping as well. There are long term effects that, at the moment, I don’t think students are thinking about. There are really long term effects whether it’s them getting in trouble with drugs and having a criminal record or using drugs and then having an altered state of mind that influences them to make poor decisions with lasting effects. Obviously students shouldn’t be using or bringing drugs into school, but I think it’s really more about just not using drugs and vaping outside of school too because of the long lasting effects. It is dangerous and it will have a negative effect on them.”

Along with Mr. Hassler, students currently attending North Penn High School also have strong opinions on the vaping situation.

“A lot of the time there are people in the bathroom stalls, for example sometimes the larger one. And they are just in there to vape and it wastes a stall for people that are in need of it,” North Penn High School student John Burke lamented.  

Burke expressed his opinions on North Penn High School’s actions taken to prevent in school drug use

“It’s hard to do a lot of things because obviously they can’t put cameras in the bathrooms. Those are private areas, so I think what the school is doing is good and respects privacy and adds security,” Burke explained.

North Penn Senior Nikkita Zola added her opinions on in school vaping saying, “I think it’s very immature. I think it is something that really needs to be addressed because it’s just not healthy and it affects everyone around.”

Zola included her own personal testimony as well, 

“I know for me I am very sensitive to smells. Like even with little things like candles and sanitizer, so when I walk into the bathroom or even just through the hallway and I smell it, it will give me a headache for the rest of the day,” Zola expressed.

These HALO Smart Sensors are currently in order and not only will be put in the high schools but the secondary schools as well.

Students breaking rules and smoking is not a new occurrence. It is the job of the schools to prevent these occurrences from happening. North Penn’s new preventative measures are essential for the well being of its students and will hopefully lower vaping rates across the district.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All The Knight Crier Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *