Montgomery ISD combats student vaping with new bathroom sensors

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Thursday, August 11, 2022
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Sensors designed to monitor air quality, THC, vaping, carbon dioxide, and aggression and tampering of the device were installed in six high school bathrooms.

MONTGOMERY, Texas (KTRK) -- When Montgomery ISD students return to school on Thursday, it may be easier for them to get caught vaping.

The district has added more vape sensors at high school campuses.

In total, 23 sensors were installed in six bathrooms at both Montgomery and Lake Creek high schools, the district said.

They are designed to monitor air quality, THC, vaping, carbon dioxide, and aggression and tampering of the device.

Earlier this summer, the Montgomery ISD board of trustees approved approximately $49,000 to purchase the HALO smart sensors.

The sensors cost about $2,000 each for installation, activation and licensing

Sensors were installed at Lake Creek High School as a pilot program back in April.

"Vaping, vapes are a tremendous challenge in schools all across Texas and all across the country. You cannot solve a problem by ignoring it, and so we have to identify and make our schools the place where it is very challenging for students to engage in any level of vaping," Superintendent Heath Morrison said. "We want to make it challenging; we want to make it a deterrent; but if caught, we want to provide the appropriate consequence for the student, but even more so get them the help that they need to dissuade them from this practice and behavior that is not a positive one."

Should a sensor give an alert, Davis said assistant principals will get a text and email that an incident has occurred. Cameras positioned outside the restrooms will allow administrators to identify who may be vaping if a student is not identified immediately, she said.

To alert students that restrooms are being monitored, Executive Director of Technology Amanda Davis said signs will be posted at the respective restrooms.

Our partners at Community Impact contributed to this report.