Spokane Public Schools is poised to combat the vaping epidemic unfolding in its middle and high schools using some sneaky equipment: sensors in the bathrooms and cameras in the hallways. The school board is expected to pass a proposal to spend about $120,000 on vaping sensors to be installed in mid-September. Vaping among students had soared inside Spokane schools and elsewhere before the COVID-19 pandemic sent students home. The problem returned last year when schools reopened.
“The vaping problem certainly has been a challenge,” said Shawn Jordan, chief operations officer for the district. “But our community is well aware of what is occurring, causing students to feel like they can’t use the bathroom for its proper use.” Jordan said the district received positive feedback from a pilot program last year at Ferris and North Central high schools. The sensors will be installed by Ednetics of Post Falls, which won the contract with a bid of $119,335. The funds will come out of the district’s general fund. To many students, Puff Bars, SMOKs, Juuls and Rick and Mortys have overtaken high school bathrooms.