TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Tyler ISD is cracking down on vaping in schools, they announced Tuesday.
In a media release, the district said it has installed “vape detectors” at all four high schools and the Career & Technology Center with the message to students, “you will get caught.” More vape detectors will also be installed in the middle schools this year, and vape detectors were included in the 2021 bond for the Hubbard Middle School and new Early College High School.
While traditional smoke detectors typically don’t pick up on vapor, vape detectors claim to monitor the quality of air and detect vaping chemicals in indoor environments.
The district said it is also tightening its policy regarding vaping. In Tyler ISD’s 2021-2022 student and parent handbook, it states that students are prohibited from having or using any type of tobacco product, e-cigarettes or any vaping device while on school property or while attending an off-campus school-related activity.
In a release issued on Wednesday, the district said that this year if a student is caught with a vape or e-cigarette, they will be sent to the Discipline Alternative Education Program.
“Students who violate the electronic cigarette provisions shall be placed in a DAEP for no less than ten days even on a first offense,” Director of Constituent Services John Johnson said. “We hope parents take this time to talk to their children about the ramifications of vaping on school property. “
It is illegal for people under the age of 21 to possess tobacco products, e-cigarette devices or vaping products, and students caught with those products on Tyler ISD grounds will receive a Class C Misdemeanor citation and fine of up to $100. If that vaping device has any other substance in it, such as THC oil, the student will be arrested with felony charges.
“Vaping is a serious issue with our youth,” Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford said. “You can’t buy bourbon in Tyler, Texas, but our youth can get their hands on vapes on almost every corner around town. We are educators, not health monitors. Any help you can give us, city, county, and legislators, we would really appreciate it!”