Staff Editorial: vandalism occurring in bathrooms increasing

Infographic by Adam Humpal

One of the problems at school is vaping and vandalism in the school’s bathrooms. This problem has raised concern for some of the staff. Not only is it an illegal activity, it is also negatively impacting students who do not vape, and need to use the bathrooms.

Vaping, although similar to smoking, differs in that instead of breathing in smoke, it is vapor that is inhaled. This trend has become very popular among teens, because it is seen as cool and they think it doesn’t carry the same health risks as smoking. Since it is relatively new, experts don’t know the long term consequences of vaping.

Although vaping is a problem at school, Assistant Principal Matt Kraft pointed out, “We have 2000 students together, if vaping in the bathrooms is the biggest issue, then it’s not necessarily that bad, there are bigger issues.”

Because vaping is happening in the bathrooms, where there are no cameras, it is hard for the school to stop the activity. They simply do not have the resources to patrol every bathroom all the time.

Kraft said, “We’ve asked the teachers to help during passing time to check the bathrooms, and to be visible. The best approach is visibility.”

On the topic of tackling the issue of vaping, Kraft believes the best tactic is to get the teachers involved, by keeping an eye out for large groups of students entering the bathroom during passing time, and monitoring who is consistently going to to bathroom during class.

Although vaping may seem like it only affects those who participate in the activity, it affects other students and poses a safety concern for others.

Assistant Principal Chris Otto said, “We have students with upper respiratory problems, and vaping is unsafe for those students, and it limits their ability to breathe.”

Both Kraft and Otto mentioned there was an intimidation factor as well. When a student walks into a bathroom and it is full of people vaping, and that makes some students not want to use the school bathrooms.

We have students with upper respiratory problems, and vaping is unsafe for those students, and it limits their ability to breathe.”

— Chris Otto

If someone is caught vaping on school grounds there are two forms of punishment that are imposed on them.First, the authorities are notified and they are issued a citation, because vaping on school grounds is illegal, even if the person is age 18.The second punishment is issued by the school through YCAPP, and that punishment is amplified with multiple offenses. It goes without saying that the vaping device is taken.

Neither assistant principals could confirm whether or not vaping and vandalism were connected event. However, Otto said, “They are both happening in the bathrooms and both are causing a disruption in the school.”

The best way to resolve this issue is by getting teachers to monitor the bathrooms during passing time, to control bathroom passes and share information among the teachers about who is frequently leaving class to go to the bathroom. It is unlikely vaping at school will be eradicated, but it can be controlled, and any suggestions on a solution to the problem are welcome by the assistant principals.