“Sandburg Student Caught Vaping in Locker Room,” ran the headline of a local paper in the United States in 2015. For some reason, a single student having a vape was considered shattering news in the editorial department. It can only be presumed that the previous week was devoted to coverage of an area man who had suddenly remembered what he went into the kitchen for.
School districts were going bananas over the new vape “epidemic” that never was. Bernards and Bridgewater-Raritan school districts called teen vapers “drug users”, and School principal Fran Thompson took the decision to close all but one set of school toilets.
“This has caused some students hesitation to use the restrooms. Students and parents have requested that we do something to address these issues,” she said. But she didn’t address their concerns and carried on regardless.
As we reported at the time, one parent was quick to respond: “Students are only allowed to use one bathroom now located in a far section of the school. How crazy is that? Is this really the proper procedure to take? What if a child feels ill, or for whatever reason needs quick access to a bathroom? This is not going to solve the issues at hand.”
Now it’s being reported that people in Australia have failed to learn from that disaster. Aquinas College on the Gold Coast has taken the absurd decision to lock up all of its toilets too because of “behavioural and students [SIC] welfare concerns”.
That the school can’t use an apostrophe probably goes some way to explaining its stupidity on tobacco harm reduction matters.
Its parent letter stated: “'No student will be denied access to the toilet or to leave class, with teacher permission. 'From today toilets will be locked during class time. They will be reopened during the transition between Periods 1 and 2 also between Periods 3 and 4.”
The local news station reported that vapes “continue to plague school yards across the country.”
This claim has been made many times without evidence. One the rare occasion that photographs have been published it has been noted that a handful of devices from a school roll of 1500 (give or take) is hardly evidence of a serious problem.
Aquinas College hasn’t responded to Planet of the Vapes’ request for a picture of confiscated items.
“People who have been using e-cigarettes compared to those who are non-e-cigarette users are three times more likely to transition to tobacco cigarettes,” lied Ms Chris McMillian of Cancer Council Queensland.
How would you feel about your child not being able to access a school toilet in an emergency?