Sensors could detect vaping at Lake Roosevelt High

Can detect bullying language too


Special detectors may be installed at Lake Roosevelt Schools to address “rampant” vaping at the school.

Vaping, which delivers nicotine to the user without tobacco present, is said to be dangerous to the health of anyone by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and especially to the development of adolescent brains.

But students can vape discreetly, even in classrooms, with the devices used to vape being particularly small and the vapor itself often odorless and dissipating quickly.

Getting some tech help to address the situation is something school officials would like to get done “sooner than later.”

Lake Roosevelt Junior/Senior High School Principal Kirk Marshlain spoke about HALO Smart Sensors, which among other things, can detect the vapor that smoke detectors can’t.

Marshlain said he met with representatives from IPVideo Corporation, which makes the HALO devices. He explained that they detect various chemicals found in vape products.

“It’s a smart technology originally developed for vaping,” Marshlain said. “We’ve had some issues with vaping this year. Definitely had to confiscate some vapes, check bathrooms periodically. He said it was a “high priority.”

The cost for each device is between $1,150 and $1,300. Marshlain said he’d like to start with a couple “pilot” devices in bathrooms to test them out.

The devices, which look like smoke detectors, don’t record any audio or video, but they do listen for key words or changes in volume that may be linked to bullying or violence.

The school could program the device to listen for whatever words they wanted, Marshlain said, adding that it can detect at least some non-English languages, as well.

Once the device detected vaping, key words or volume changes, alerts would be sent to staff members on a list to receive such alerts.

At the Feb. 24 school board meeting, Marshlain said the Colville Tribes indicated they were willing to help pay for HALO devices, and that Dean of Students Sara Kennedy told him she has another contact willing to help match some of the cost.

“That’s something we’re definitely trying to get done sooner than later,” Marshlain said. “We’re excited about that, people are reaching out and saying, ‘Hey this is a problem; we want to help.’”

Rick Cadiz, the vice president of sales and marketing at IPVideo Corporation, said their company’s logo resembles a halo, and that the product name is not an acronym.

“We look at the product as a guardian angel looking over your shoulder, so the HALO name was a choice that made sense,” Cadiz said.

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