Alabama High School Removes Bathroom Stall Doors to Stop Students from Vaping

No more vapin' in the boys' room

Administrators say students are vaping in the bathrooms
Gilang Widiatmaja/EyeEm/Getty
By Kayla Kibbe / September 9, 2019 9:34 am

As the health consequences of vaping become increasingly apparent, schools are seeking new methods to combat the behavior among students. The solution one high school in Alabama came up with? Literally getting rid of the doors on bathroom stalls.

Administrators at Wilson High School in Lauderdale County, Alabama have reportedly removed some of the doors in the boys’ bathrooms in order to discourage vaping, local news outlet WAFF reported. The controversial move reportedly comes a few weeks after a student at the school was found unconscious in a bathroom stall after vaping.

According to school Principal Gary Horton, the bathrooms are a common place for students to vape in secret, and administrators hope to discourage the behavior by removing the privacy provided by stall doors.

However, as many concerned parents have pointed out, getting rid of stall doors also robs students of all privacy, period. “I don’t like it. They take their only private place in the school that they can do their business,” one parent told the outlet, while another called the measure “excessive.”

Also potentially fueling controversy is the failure to apply the new disciplinary measure universally across the school’s bathrooms. According to WAFF, the doors have only been removed from the stalls in some of the boys’ bathrooms, and Horton reportedly did not provide an explanation for the discrepancy. He did, however, note that the stall door removal may only be a temporary approach until the administration can institute a better solution.

While ripping off stall doors is probably a drastic and overall unhelpful solution, the school’s concern over student vaping isn’t unwarranted. Reports of lung disease in young people tied to vaping have been on the rise, and various states are pursuing new legislation to crack down on the dangerous practice.

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