Across elementary, middle, and high schools, a concerning issue is emerging: increased incidents of student vaping. School leaders are grappling with the challenge of curbing this alarming trend and creating a safe learning environment for their students.
Fortunately, technology comes to the rescue with an innovative solution that not only addresses vaping but also enhances overall campus management. Partnering with the right electronic hall pass solution can play a pivotal role in identifying student movement on campus, uncovering vaping hotspots, and providing valuable data to take proactive measures.
The rise of student vaping poses serious health and safety risks and contributes to an insecure learning environment. Among the challenges schools face are:
The Centers for Disease Control identifies schools as “ground zero” for the youth e-cigarette epidemic. The 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) on e-cigarette use among U.S. youth found that 14.1% (2.14 million) of high school students and 3.3% (380,000) of middle school students reported current e-cigarette use. Restroom breaks offer the opportunity addicted students need to vape without being seen.
Texas districts have installed vape sensors to monitor air quality and catch vaping students, but that is a reactionary, after-the-fact intervention. While useful for disciplinary measures, sensors alone don’t prevent this behavior from happening in the first place.
Paper/plastic hall passes and sign-in/-out forms don’t provide visibility into student movement for school staff. In an interview for Campus Safety Magazine, Cobun Zweifel-Keegan, a data privacy lawyer and managing director of the International Association of Privacy Professionals says, “With paper records, you don’t necessarily have a central system so it may be difficult to track in a school where students aren’t in a single room all day. It would be difficult to track how many times students are ‘abusing the privilege’ of being able to go out of the classroom. And then, of course, it’d be harder to identify when vandalism and things like that happen. It takes more legwork from the administrators.”
The lack of visibility into student movement on campus means there’s little more that school administrators can do to tackle the issue of student vaping aside from measures previously taken.
Data-driven decision-making is a guiding principle in education. School districts and staff members use the information learned from student assessments to guide curriculum and instructional practices. So too, does behavioral data guide school rules and procedures. Without accurate data about vaping hotspots on campus and student time out of class, any policies enacted are equal to playing Pin The Tail On The Donkey. You’re just hoping something will stick.
Schools are turning to advanced technology solutions to address student vaping and improve campus management. An electronic hall pass system like SmartPass proves to be a game-changer, offering many benefits to school leaders, teachers, and students.
An electronic hall pass system provides school leaders with real-time monitoring of student movement. Knowing students’ intended destinations as they travel on campus makes it easier to identify suspicious behavior and promptly address potential vaping incidents.
With the right electronic hall pass, schools can gain meaningful and actionable data about student movement patterns. By analyzing this data, administrators can pinpoint vaping hotspots and deploy preventive measures to curb the trend.
An electronic hall pass system instills a sense of responsibility and accountability among students. With each location check-in, students are aware of the system's transparency, making them more likely to adhere to school policies and avoid engaging in risky behaviors like vaping.
The data insights from a digital hall pass system empower schools to take proactive measures to combat student vaping. For example, schools may:
SmartPass, the leading electronic hall pass system, offers an array of features designed to address the challenges of student vaping and improve campus management:
Create Encounter Prevention groups to automatically block certain students from being able to request passes at the same time. Again, administrators receive alerts when an encounter occurs.
"In just a few clicks, I set it up to prevent 4 frequent flyers from meeting up to vape."
—Evelyn Murphy, Principal, Tennessee Private High School
“It has helped create calmer hallways while increasing instructional time and student accountability. Even our less tech-savvy teammates have embraced the app thanks to its simplicity!”
—Mason Jones, Operations Manager, Harlem Prep High School
"We really had very little data about how frequently students were moving, especially between classes. SmartPass fixes that. Now, I can see what those patterns are. Administration really likes the global data they have about the students in our hallways. In parent meetings, SmartPass reports can be pulled that show how many times a student has been out of class during the week. It keeps them accountable."
—Megan Swope, Educational Technology Coach, Pennsbury School District
Student vaping is a pressing concern that demands a proactive and data-driven approach. An electronic hall pass system, like SmartPass, not only identifies student movement on campus but also uncovers vaping hotspots and provides valuable data for informed decision-making.
The SmartPass digital hall pass system is just one of the tools in your toolbox to help you enforce policies around student movement and safety consistently and effectively. As schools face the challenge of combatting student vaping, embracing the power of technology can make a significant difference. By integrating a digital hall pass system into their school’s policies, administrators foster a safer and healthier learning environment, empower students to make responsible choices, and drive positive change for a vape-free future.
See how SmartPass can reduce vaping and other potentially unsafe behaviors at your school. Schedule a 30-minute conversation with our team to discuss your school’s specific needs and how SmartPass can help.