‘A Little Excessive’: Ala. School Attempts to Stop Vaping by Removing Bathroom Stall Doors

Yes, vaping is all the rage and, yes, the CDC most recently issued warnings about it, but should bathroom stall doors be removed to stop it? Wilson High School in Florence, Alabama seems to think that is the answer — for now.

Parents interviewed about this mainly said that the idea was “excessive” and that there must be another way. According to local news outlet WAFF, the school has had a problem with male students sneaking vapes into school and using them in the bathroom over the course of a school day.

What sparked this approach? Principal Gary Horton cited an incident in which a student was found passed out in a bathroom stall after vaping. It wasn’t just that, though. School administrators can’t seem to stop students from taking a vape break in the bathroom, so the boys’ bathrooms are now missing a bunch of doors. This is to say that not all doors have been removed, just some.

Brandon Campbell, a parent, said that for him, the war on doors is “a little excessive.” Campbell said that there has to be another way.

“Maybe they need to put a monitor in the hall, like they do. Usually they have a truancy officer or a police officer at the school. Have them monitor the hallway because a bathroom is for each individual person’s privacy,” he told WAFF.

Rachel Munsey agreed that the school was taking students’ “only private place in the school that they can do their business.” She argued that adult “spotters in the bathroom” might be preferable to encroaching on students’ stall privacy.

“You need someone adult to go in there to make sure there’s not any vaping going on,” said Munsey.

The school principal acknowledged doorlessness may be a temporary solution to an ongoing problem.

[Image via WAFF screengrab]

Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.

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