Alabama high school removes bathroom stall doors to stop vaping

An Alabama high school has removed some of the doors from its bathroom stalls in an effort to prevent students from vaping in campus bathrooms.

Wilson High School Principal Gary Horton said this month the decision to remove some of the stall doors in the boys’ bathroom was prompted by an incident two weeks ago in which a student, vaping in the bathroom, passed out. The high school is in Florence, in the northwest corner of the state.

Horton did not immediately return a request for comment Monday.

He told the station the issue has become so pervasive that every day a student is sneaking off to the bathroom to vape.

The best way to prevent students from taking smoke breaks was to remove some of the stall doors, according to Horton.

Horton said the door removals could be temporary while the school finds a permanent solution.

Schools are increasingly turning to such measures as health officials have reported a sharp rise in vaping by minors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this year that e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among middle and high school students since 2014.

The Truth Initiative, an anti-tobacco activist group, claimed that in a survey of 1,500 middle and high school teachers and administrators across the United States in January, “nine percent reported removing restroom doors” to prevent use of e-cigarettes.

“We’re not the only school system that’s seeing that,” Bob Mosier, a spokesman for Anne Arundel County Schools in Maryland, told the Capital Gazette of Annapolis last year when the doors were removed from about half the bathrooms at Broadneck High School.