Safe Schools Endeavor hopes to cut down on vaping in school

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 5:26 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Watertown’s Case Middle School has been trying to curb kids vaping on campus.

It’s a challenging task for Principal Mark Taylor.

“They come in all shapes and sizes and they’re able to hide them,” said Taylor.

Especially when there are blind spots students can take advantage of.

“We have found that a lot of kids find the bathrooms are good, safe places for them to do that,” said Taylor.

To try and fix that, the school has been awarded a nearly $2,000 grant to buy two Halo Smart Sensors.

Those detect vapors from things like e-cigarettes and silently alert the office.

An official with the company that makes them says he’s glad to be a part of schools tackling vaping.

“It’s great that we’re able to help eliminate that and get them back to teaching and learning,” said Rick Cadiz, VP of Sales and Marketing at IPVideo.

A handful of North Country schools were awarded a similar grant to the one Case Middle School got. It’s from a partnership between the Northern New York Community Foundation and a committee called the Safer Schools Endeavor.

“We wanted to do something here locally to ensure our Jefferson and Lewis County schools were empowered to have some funding,” said Erika Flint, The Safe Schools Endeavor Committee Chairwoman.

This year, the Safe Schools Endeavor awarded around $16 thousand in total to nine Jefferson County schools, money donated by the community.

Flint says the idea started in 2018 after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“Our motto has really been simple that, that doing nothing is really the only thing that leads to failure,” said Flint.

At Case, Taylor says there’s a plan if the two sensors prove to cut down on vaping.

“Try and purchase more to fill our bathrooms with them, so that that’s not where kids are going to be able to do it. And hopefully that will cut down on them doing it in school,” said Taylor.

He expects to receive the grant money and buy the detectors at the end of the month.

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