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Vape detectors coming soon to Lopez High School 

Lopez High School is set to get the first vape sensors in the Lucia Mar Unified School District, tools administrators say could help mitigate students' increasing use of vaping and e-cigarette devices on campus.

At a meeting on Jan. 21, the Lucia Mar board of education voted to approve the installation of safety video systems at eight district sites, including Lopez High, where four vape sensors will also be installed in student bathrooms.

click to enlarge NEW AGE SMOKE DETECTORS Four vape sensors, which are able to detect chemicals produced by vapes and e-cigarette products when they're being used, will be installed at Lopez High School. - FILE PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
  • File Photo By Jayson Mellom
  • NEW AGE SMOKE DETECTORS Four vape sensors, which are able to detect chemicals produced by vapes and e-cigarette products when they're being used, will be installed at Lopez High School.

The sensors, according to Amy Jacobs, who handles Lucia Mar's marketing and communications, can detect chemicals produced by vapes and e-cigarette products when they're being used. When a sensor is triggered, it alerts administrators via text.

The vape sensors cost about $1,100 each and are being paid for through a grant Lopez High received to help the school address its high suspension rates. As of Dec. 10, 2019, Lucia Mar had already fielded 90 incidents involving vapes this school year alone, according to a district report, 13 of which were at Lopez High.

If the vape sensors successfully deter students from using those devices on campus, Jacobs said the district might consider installing sensors at other sites too.

Lopez and other sites are also getting outfitted with video systems, which Jacobs said will be used to identify vandals and thieves. Lucia Mar sites are often the targets of such crime, she said, and security cameras have proven to be "excellent deterrents" of that behavior.

The security systems will be paid for by Measure I Series A funding, and those cameras and the sensors together will cost about $226,600. Δ

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