As health officials warn of vaping-related lung illnesses, which are believed to have claimed five lives, one Alabama school took drastic measures to curb students vaping in school by removing bathroom stall doors. However, some parents found the radical solution was "over-excessive."
Two weeks after a student was found passed out in a restroom, according to Wilson High School Principal Gary Horton, a decision was made to temporarily remove doors off some of the bathroom stalls in the boys' bathroom.
The administrators at the Florence, Ala. school told WAFF that students continually sneak into the school's bathrooms to vape and that removing the bathroom stall doors was the best way to deter the students from taking their unsolicited smoke breaks.
Many parents, however, did not agree with the school’s decision.
“I don’t like it. They take their only private place in the school that they can do their business,” Rachel Munsey, a parent, told the news station. “Bad vaping problem, then you need spotters in the bathroom. You need someone adult to go in there to make sure there’s not any vaping going on."
“Me, as a parent, personally, I think that’s a little excessive,” Brandon Campbell, another parent, told WAFF. “It’s a little over-excessive. Maybe they need to put a monitor in the hall, like they do. Usually, they have a truancy officer or a police officer at the school. Have them monitor the hallway because a bathroom is for each individual person’s privacy."
"I removed some of the doors but I never removed all of them," Horton told Yahoo Lifestyle in an email on Monday night. "I did this only as a temporary solution two weeks ago. All doors have been replaced."
In Alabama, recent laws have been passed which require vape shops to have a tobacco license and prohibits advertising vapes and e-cigarettes as "healthy" alternatives to cigarettes, as well as advertisements near schools. Vape shops are also prohibited from opening within 1,000 feet of a school, childcare facility, church, youth center, public library, playground or park. Furthermore, Alabama prevents the selling of e-cigarettes to anyone under 19.
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