Fresh calls for tougher anti-vaping measures in schools including bag checks and pocket searches
‘The time has come where we need to do something much bigger and much more permanent.’
There are calls for tougher measures to be introduced in schools in a bid to prevent students vaping.
Students in Queensland could undergo mandatory bag checks and pocket searches at schools, if the measures – from the Teachers’ Professional Association of Queensland – are introduced.
It comes after a study revealed that more than a third of primary school teachers had reported at least some of their students use an e-cigarette or similar device.
Teachers’ Professional Association of Queensland secretary Tracy Tully told Sunrise the issue was getting worse.
“There’s so many ways you can manage illegal substances in schools, but I think we are beyond that now,” she said.
“I think the time has come where we need to do something much bigger and much more permanent.”
Tully explained that, alarmingly, one in six students were supplied with their vapes by a parent or guardian.
“For parents, we are finding in the last couple of decades, they want a mateship with their children rather than a parent-child relationship,” she said.
“And that is a huge issue, especially when the child comes to school.
“The parents feel like they have to please the kids, and they are seeing it as a way to medicate the kids, to keep them quiet and give a false sense of calm, which it isn’t.”
Experts say that after lockdowns and lots of time spent stuck at home, children have been able to start these addictions and bad habits at homes, which are now being brought into schools.
“This is a problem that our principals, and school teachers just don’t have the time for at all,” Tully said.
However, it is not the first time anti-vaping measures have been applied in Australian schools.
Earlier in the year, several Victorian schools installed vape detectors in bathrooms, which includes an email alert system that notifies teachers when someone is vaping.
St Columba’s College Deputy Principal Brigitte McDonald said the number of students seen vaping was “increasing drastically” and the school had recently installed vaping detectors in all student bathrooms.
“When it registers that there’s some vaping happening in the toilets, a signal goes off, which our maintenance team monitors,” McDonald told 7NEWS.
“They will notify our leaders who’ll be able to look at the CCTV.”
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