Students returning this fall to the Maple School District will be subject to a metal detector as a means of curbing the juvenile vaping problem.  The district has approved buying and installing a metal detecting wand at both Northwestern High School and Northwestern Middle School.

Underage vaping is a crisis nationwide and also right here in the Northland.  And, each school district approaches the problem using different methods of prevention and detection.  An article in the Superior Telegram [paywall] spells out the pervasive nature of vaping among school-age children:

"According to the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey, e-cigarettes were the most common tobacco product currently used among middle school and high school students, with more than 2 million young people reporting that they used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days."

The Maple School District will use the metal detecting wands to track down and crack down on student vaping.  According to Northwestern High School Principal Mark Carlson, "the metal detector wands are noninvasive and would be used on an individual basis as needed to detect vaping devices students may have on them".

Because vaping devices are easy to conceal, it's difficult for school administrators to track their use among students in the building.  However, a majority of these e-cigarette vaping devices include some metal components; the metal detectors would allow school officials to better "police" the problem.

According to that article in the Telegram, the metal detecting wand devices cost between $50.00 and $100.00 each.  The minimal cost and the fact that they could be potentially used for other search situations (like weapons) made it an easy decision for the district.

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