Speaking up about vaping

Dani Fraher, News Writer

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Looking back at Eagan High School’s 2019, you may remember the second day of trimester two: the vape presentation. Though it received mixed reviews from the student body, this approach to the vaping epidemic not only marks how serious administration is about the issue but also possibly takes further steps towards solving it.

“I feel a real obligation to address a health hazard, and this is a health hazard,” says Dr. Reikowski. “It just really alarms me when I see that the people who are living in hospitals on respirators with damaged lungs are kids. It’s going to haunt us as a generation.”

She also expresses concern about kids who “don’t buy the idea that it’s dangerous,” and who don’t know what’s in vapes.

And who better to teach them than the absurdly dressed Rob Holloway?

Between the magic tricks and the nuttiness, Holloway pointed out Juul specifically targeting kids with their aerosol-ridden product. He didn’t shame students but spoke the scientific truth as down to earth as possible.

How this guy chosen? Over the summer, a group of Eagan parents came to Dr. Reikowski complaining of vapers in the bathrooms. The parents suggested—and volunteered to be—bathroom monitors, but she turned them down. “It’s pretty awkward to have parents in the restrooms with kids. I think kids would not think that was too cool, and I think the parents of other kids would go, ‘What are you doing?’” She instead took to the internet for public speakers addressing this topic and came across him. Some parents and guardians even helped fundraise enough money to pay for him.

But a man in Adidas sweat pants isn’t the only action Eagan High School has taken against vaping. Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) also fought back, contributing the anti-vape posters in the halls. Information tables for parents in future conferences will be present as well.     

Also fundraised by parents, the vape detectors reside in some of the restrooms in the school, though the principal would not specify which. The vape detectors report immediately to administration if there is vape, smoke, or any other chemicals in the bathroom; however, this is not all they do. They can also detect loud, aggressive noises, picking up on a fight, and they also alarm when vandalized.

We have yet to see what other measures will be taken and if the ones already in place will improve this situation. “I think the important thing is that we didn’t fix this problem. We’re just working on it,” says the principal. “I don’t think we’ve solved it.”

If you know of someone who vapes in school, go to reportit.com to report it anonymously.