If you thought the "vaping epidemic" among teens was bad in the US, even Canada is in a smoky haze about it, especially indoor vaping. One of the biggest offenses has been found in their high schools, in which students walk through clouds of fruity flavors they create themselves discreetly, hidden behind the restroom stall.
However, Don Murphy, principal of St. Joseph High School in Barrhaven, Ottawa, has some news for his school's restroom vapers.
"In order to address this problem," Murphy wrote in a newsletter addressed to students and parents, "washroom doors will soon be removed from most of our washrooms so that vaping can be detected more readily and washrooms can be entered quickly."
While students under 18, legally, should not be inhaling nicotine on any public property, taking away a crucial element to the privacy of public restrooms as a means to tackle this problem could be problematic in itself. Students, however, are split on the issue.
"I think it's a little bit ridiculous because I don't see the point of doing that," Veronica Falcucci, eleventh grade student at St. Joseph told CTV. "Even if you smell [the vape] quicker, I just don't see the point of taking the doors off."
Twelfth grader Ty Draper told CBC News, "Some people think it's an invasion of privacy, which I see, but I don't find it that big of a deal."
Removing the doors from restrooms as a means to protect school rules is not even an original idea. In fact it became somewhat of a trend in the United States, specifically in response to teen vaping. A high school in Annapolis, Maryland, cracked down on vaping by removing its restroom doors in April 2018. In November, the Bronx High School of Science closed down many of its restrooms altogether for the same reason.
Whether it works or not is up for time to tell, but perhaps the school board could take into account a suggestion by one St. Joseph student who told CBC News he believed that, instead of getting rid of the doors, teachers should just be more adamant to check the bathrooms for vaping themselves.
What do you think? Would you rather your privacy-dependent child not come home with a full bladder every day, or do they deserve to face the ultimate punishment for inhaling such fowl poisons into their lungs? Let us know in the comments below!