Unfortunately, this is where some schools have blurred the line between security and invasion of privacy. Recently an Alabama principal made headlines after he ordered the removal of the doors in several of his school’s bathroom stalls. In that Alabama case, the doors were put back in one week later after parents issued concerns about their children’s privacy. In another effort, a school district in Texas required students to roll up their sleeves when entering school in an attempt to prevent them from hiding e-cigarettes. Neither action was particularly popular with patents, but it shows the extremes schools are going through to stem the rising tide. But there are better alternatives.
Advancements in technology have given security companies the ability to integrate these restroom vape detectors so that alerts for any infractions can be sent in real time to the appropriate parties’ phone and emails. It can also be integrated into the school’s Security/Video systems. In addition, the technology exists to integrate with cameras outside the restrooms, so as to monitor who enters and leaves correspondent to when the infractions occur. This means that if Larry and Billy walk out of the bathroom minutes after the vaping detector signals a time-stamped message to the principal’s email, you can be pretty sure that they’re doing something that they’re not supposed to be doing. Installers can also adjust and maximize the settings for the room’s environment, thus removing false alarms that other sensors might get from body and disinfectant sprays. Integration can also be set up to pinpoint where the infraction occurs, so alerts are sent to a teacher on the 2nd floor if there is an infraction in the 2nd floor bathroom, etc. The device can also be wired into a PoE-enabled network. This is important because it makes it easier to connect to an existing network, with less work required.
There’s no denying that schools are embracing this technology as the ill-effects of vaping become more and more prominent in the news. And that’s without factoring in that along with the obvious health risks, vaping has also caused additional problems as e-cigarettes are being flushed down toilets, resulting in school having to dole out thousands of dollars in custodial and plumbing fees. But what price-tag do we place on the health and safety of our most precious cargo. Once a student walks through the front door, his well-being is in the hands of a dedicated staff, dedicated to not only educate, but to protect.
More and more schools are investing heavily in placing vape detectors in their restroom, with reports of one Ohio school district doling out over $60,000 to put vape detectors in their bathrooms. Plus, there are additional costs for programming, integration, etc. So it makes sense that schools should seek out trained installers to maximize their return with real-time communications.