Limestone County Schools Superintendent speaks on vape detection systems after first year of implementation

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) – A year-long battle between teen vapers and school leaders is coming to an end with summer break just around the corner.

Now, we’re taking a look at how new vape detection systems handled this problem in Limestone County.

Superintendent Randy Shearouse didn’t grade it officially, but it sounds to me like he’d give it a solid B+. It wasn’t the perfect system, but it did more than enough to deter kids from vaping in schools.

Limestone County Schools invested more than $130,000 in installing vape detection systems across their district.

Shearouse says the focus was on vapers in the bathroom – a spot that’s been extremely difficult to police.

He said out of the nearly 5,000 students in his district, they caught a couple hundred kids vaping at school. Repeat offenders were sent to alternative schools with programs designed to help them kick their addiction.

However, one flaw Shearouse noticed with the system was how time-consuming it can be for administrators.

When you get a detection that someone’s vaping in the restroom, it takes a lot of time to investigate that. To question kids because a lot of times by the time the assistant principal makes it down to the entrance of the restroom, the child’s either done something with the vape or flushed the vape,” he said. “So that’s taken more time to deal with it, I think. But I think it’s worth the extra time because we’re helping deter students from vaping.”