As vaping continues to grow in popularity in middle school and high school aged children around the area, Dell Rapids public schools will be installing vape detectors this year in hopes of deterring students from vaping. Dr. Summer Schultz sent a letter to parents throughout the district alerting parents to this change in the middle school and high school buildings.
Dr. Schultz cited alarming statistics in the rise of vaping devices in the letter. She noted that nationwide data is showing high school aged students who regularly use vaping devices has increased 78% over the last year and the number of young adults of have at least tried it increased by 400%. With this surge in use and reports across the country indicating the dangers of vaping, the school district has decided to try to combat the epidemic.
Dr. Schultz said in the letter, “Unfortunately, because vaping devices create minimal exhaled aerosol, and limited odor, our district has struggled to stop vaping on school grounds. Going into the new school year, we have revised policy, worked to eliminate opportunity, and purchased detection devices. Our intent is not to catch or trick students, rather, we hope to mitigate the activity in some of our most private area. As users become addicted to nicotine, we know the long-term effects will continue to increase and nicotine can easily become a gateway to other substances. Doing nothing is not an option, and although this isn’t going to solve the problem entirely, I hope it is a step in the right direction.”
The school partnered with the Dell Rapids Connections group to help fund the purchase of the devices. Local businesses that help sponsor the annual Revive Fitness Family Run donated directly to this causes. Those businesses are Dells Materials, BX Civil & Construction, Direct Automation, Big Sioux Media, Revive Fitness, Avera of Dell Rapids, and Brian Nelson, American National Insurance.
The full letter from the district is featured below in its entirety.Dell Rapids Vaping Letter