Sensors detect vaping in bathrooms at Modesto high schools. What parents need to know

Modesto City Schools is installing smart sensors in high school and junior high bathrooms to combat vaping and make restrooms safer for students. The school district is buying 63 Halo Smart Sensors through a $100,000 grant from the state Department of Justice. Obviously, bathrooms are not a place for surveillance cameras to monitor activity. But these high-tech sensors are able to detect vaping, tobacco smoke and marijuana, as well as gunshots and unusual sounds that might indicate aggressive behavior.


Modesto City Schools said special sensors are in place at 1,500 school districts in the nation. In Modesto, the Halo Smart system was piloted at Roosevelt Junior High School. Downey and Modesto high schools recently have deployed the sensors. Jason Manning, principal of Modesto High, said students vaping in bathrooms is definitely an issue at his school and other campuses. “(The sensors) are another tool we can use to increase safety and make the bathrooms hazard-free,” he said.