The Plainview ISD school board followed up on their plan to eliminate vapes and other substances from the district during a regular meeting Monday night.
The school board unanimously approved the purchase and installation of 42 additional HALO vape sensors for Plainview High School, Ash High School, Plainview Collegiate High School, Plainview Intermediate school and Plainview Junior High. The purchase of the sensors is in response to an increase in THC vaping at PISD, according to Plainview ISD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez.
Purchase and installation for each sensor was quoted at $1,745.12, bringing the grand total to $73,295.20. The district plans to use either district funds or federal 289 Title IV to fund the purchase and installation.
“This is treating a symptom and not the problem,” Sanchez said during the meeting. “In my first year here, we would get a kid every so often with a vape, but it was the non-THC type of vape. It was nicotine. They have started to show up in the convenience stores in Plainview and now we have multiple vape shops.”
He later used an old saying that “the best ability is availability,” referencing that the increase in vape shops around Plainview has helped in the increase of THC vape cases at PISD.
PHS will receive the most sensors at 14 with Plainview Intermediate and Ash receiving 12 and 10 sensors respectively. PISD plans to install four sensors at Plainview Collegiate and two sensors at Plainview Junior High. According to Sanchez, the district plans to have the sensors placed in hard-to-detect places like locker rooms
The HALO sensors can detect multiple substances outside of THC vapors. The sensors are designed to detect non-THC vapors like nicotine and pick up on sound abnormalities like gunshots and shouting in areas a camera cannot be placed.
A couple of sensors were placed into PHS prior to Monday’s meeting to test their effectiveness in a live scenario. Plainview ISD Police Chief Julio De La Garza showed an example of what the sensors can pick up on and the alerts PISD Police officers receive when a sensor does pick something up.