PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Friday afternoon at Akimel A-Al Middle School, students were busted for having vape pens.

"These pens were found after students did their diligence and reported that they had seen some suspicious activity," said Erin Helm, director of communication for Kyrene School District.

Students vaping, selling and buying vape pens is against district policy on all of their school campuses. If students are caught breaking these rules, they will be punished.

"The discipline ranged from in-school suspension to a full week of out of school suspension, which is very serious," said Helm.

The principal sent a letter to parents. The school is holding an educational seminar for parents and students.

"This has become a really important issue for the Kyrene District and to get in front of it before it becomes a big problem on our campus," said Helm.

It's not just about educating the parents and students for Kyrene District. It's also about educating their staff on what to look for.

"It's not like a pack of cigarettes. Everyone knows what a pack of cigs looks like. Vaping can look like a piece of technology. It can look like a USB drive," said Helm.

But the district is hoping an advancement in technology can help.

"We are looking at anti-vaping technology in our schools," said Helm.

One way is installing sensors in the bathrooms at one of their middle schools.

"These sensors can detect vaping and send an alert to our security, to our principal or whomever we choose and the administration can come and deal with it swiftly," said Helm.

If the pilot program is successful, the district will install the sensors in all of their schools.


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