MADISON, Ind. (WDRB) — Eight students from Madison Consolidated High School were rushed to the hospital this week after vaping at school, and the school district is now looking at ramping up efforts to confiscate e-cigarettes.
A letter from the district said students showed signs of elevated heart rate, dilated pupils, fluctuated breath patterns, limpness and even loss of consciousness.
“In all of these particular situations, there has been confirmed evidence of vaping and/or paraphernalia including pods and cartridges,” the letter reads.
Law enforcement and state health officials are now investigating what kinds of chemicals could have caused those reactions. The school warns students to immediately stop using vaping devices, especially those bought online.
“That’s a pretty big uptick for us, in terms of the frequency that we’re sending kids (to the ER), and it’s all related back to something that they’re vaping in their devices,” Superintendent Jeff Studebaker said. “Some of our students are getting hooked on this stuff to the point where they can’t go more than an hour or two without taking another hit.”
Madison Consolidated Schools already had policies that ban vaping and related devices, but officials are now looking at installing vaping detectors, which could cost around $1,000 each.
While no students were seriously injured this week, Studebaker said they fear the worst and want to take more action.
“We’re going to talk to our school board about doing a little more, possibly metal wand sweeps,” he said. “Something along those lines, where we’re still protecting student rights, but we’re also sending the message that you can’t have this stuff here.”
Studebaker said schools need more legislative help to curb the crisis.
“Just banning stuff at the drug stores isn’t enough,” he said. “It’s available on the internet, and that’s where our kids are getting it.”
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