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Vaping prompts Maryland school to remove bathroom doors

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An Anne Arundel County high school has taken a unique approach to dealing with teens smoking in the bathrooms: It took off the bathroom doors.

It’s in response to a new trend–vaping and what’s called “juuling” by students in school.

It’s a national trend that has a teenage following. Devices that deliver a nicotine vapor, “vaping,” promoted as safer than smoking, but research indicates that nicotine vapor carries known health risks to developing teenage brains.

A student told CBS News that vaping is widespread.

“Everyone does it”, he said. “Every time I go in the bathroom there’s someone doing it.”

That bore true in Anne Arundel County, where administrators at Broadneck High School took the unusual action of removing the doors from some bathrooms to discourage smoking, vaping, and juuling. A Juul is a device that looks like a thumb drive but delivers a nicotine vapor.

Anne Arundel Public Schools Spokesman Bob Mosier explained the decision.

“Broadneck High School has seen an increase in the number of student code of conduct violations in its bathrooms,” he said. “Smoking, vaping, the use of Juul devices. So in response, in the bathrooms in the school, where to do so would not invade student privacy. It installed doorstops on the exterior bathroom doors and prop those doors open. No bathroom stall doors were removed. Those doorstops were kicked off and in response the school removed those doors.”

WJZ asked whether removing the doors down might seem extreme.

“I think if you’re looking at it on the surface it may seem extreme but it is the result of two sets of what I would term irresponsible actions,” said Mosier. “First the smoking, vaping and use of Juuls which are clearly violations of the code of student conduct, and second, when the school sought an intermediate remedy, the doorstops were kicked off. And so we are where we are.”

Mosier told WJZ there has been only one complaint made to the school and none to the administration.

No other Anne Arundel schools have taken this action.

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