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Vaping Illnesses

A man exhales while smoking an e-cigarette in Portland, Maine, in this 2019 photo. New safety devices detecting vape usage are being installed and reviewed for Wayne County schools.

WAYNE — New safety devices detecting vape usage are being installed and reviewed for Wayne County schools.

Wayne, Tolsia and Spring Valley high schools are having vape detection devices implemented in schools and possibly buses in order to decrease usage on school property, Superintendent Todd Alexander said during the Wayne County Board of Education meeting Dec. 14.

Though an incident took place Dec. 9 at Wayne High School with students having negative reactions to vapes believed to have THC products in them, Alexander said plans have actually been in the works to get the devices for months.

“This has been in the works for a while now because we’ve had a problem with these vapes and vape products for a few years now,” he said. “And I don’t know much about vapes, but from what we’ve seen, there have been negative reactions, so anything we can do to lessen the use of them is good.”

Progress is being made to get the devices in the high schools, and Alexander said they will eventually be in all schools. A door jamb is also being tested for potential implementation at all Wayne County schools that would be used during lockdown situations.

Alexander said following a recent shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, officials said a particular door jamb was helpful in keeping rooms secure.

While it is best to hope they are never used, Alexander said, it is better to have the safety option if needed.

“This is something that we hope we never have to use, but they can be instrumental in situations where lives may be at risk, so it’s better to be safe and keep our staff and students safe,” he said.

Items discussed during the Dec. 21 meeting included specs for renovations to the county’s bus garage, office planning items and more.

The next BOE meeting is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, at the Board of Education office.

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