Vape Detectors Coming to PB


Luise-Emerson Terrel

Paint Branch is one of the six schools picked by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to participate in their Vape Detection System Pilot Program.

Luise-Emerson Terrel, Staff Writer

On April 12, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) announced that Paint Branch along with five other high schools, (John F. Kennedy, Northwood, Quince Orchard, Richard Montgomery, and Walt Whitman) would be participating in a pilot program intended to combat vaping and discourage the use of illicit substances.

According to MCPS Chief Operating Officer M. Brian Hull, “Vape detectors are in the process of being installed in the bathrooms” of the participating schools, and intervention services and prevention outreach will also be provided. The program will slowly be integrated into the participating schools. The program will finish at the end of the school year and after that, MCPS will be assessing the results to determine the usefulness of the detectors.

As for whether the detectors will at least decrease the problem of vaping in bathrooms, Paint Branch Security Team Member Mr. Nate Young said, “Absolutely.” Mr. Young adds that, “Normally it’s…it’s been a big problem” and it happens “throughout the day, every day.”

Freshman Simon Behr is unsure whether or not the vape detectors will work but if they do he thinks they will be “pretty effective.” He does note that his initial thinking is that there is a flaw in that while the vape detectors will “be able to detect that someone was vaping,” it will “have absolutely no idea who.”

Peace Alayode is confused about what the vape detectors are supposed to be detecting. “A lot of things can produce vapor besides vapes,” says the PB junior. Alayode also says that with the vape detectors only in the bathrooms it limits their effectiveness as people will just not vape in the bathrooms and “how quickly can an administrator get to the bathroom when the detector goes off?” She finishes by adding, “everyone knows that’s not really the place people smoke anymore.”

PB’s involvement in the program came because MCPS asked PB if it wanted to be involved. PB Principal Dr. Mirshah feels proud to be part of the program because she believes that, “it says they trust us to do a good job.” She also notes that she really hopes the program works.