The recent announcement that the Hilliard City School District is piloting Vape Detectors has prompted many questions and opinions. First and foremost, I am thankful this topic continues to generate public attention. The recent proliferation of vape-type devices is a significant public health concern. We still don’t know the long-term health impact, but health officials are alarmed at potential deadly consequences.
Our district is piloting six vape detectors – two at each high school. Hilliard has a long history of pilot programs, beginning on a small scale, and evaluating effectiveness before moving forward. We adapt and adjust, we learn, and we get better.
Hilliard’s investment in student health and well-being is unquestionable. Over the past two years, with the leadership of our Board of Education, our district has appointed a Director of Student Well-Being and a Director of Social Emotional Learning. We now have healthcare support in every building, every day, while students are in school. We’ve trained well over 200 students as Hope Squad Members, added a dozen guidance councilors and social workers, and expanded partnerships with health care providers.
We know we have a long way to go; issues facing young people today are complex and significant. Bullying, both in-person and online, is a severe problem. School officials work tirelessly to stay current with these issues. Our partnership with the Hilliard Police is essential in our work. Parental monitoring, guidance, and reporting are also paramount in a collaborative approach to keeping all students safe. It takes all of us, working together, during, and outside of school hours.
This work isn’t easy; not everyone is going to agree with the tactics or procedures. Nevertheless, we won’t stop trying, caring, and improving. It’s in our DNA here in Hilliard. It’s at our core; these are our values. We Stand up and Own our actions, we believe in the Power of our Team, and we live our Passion for Growth.
Superintendent John Marschhausen, Ph.D.