A school in New York is attempting to make a change in order to protect their students. Test schools will be implementing new technology that will hopefully put an end to not only bullying, but also vaping and e-cigarettes.
In July, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo banned the use of e-cigarettes on all public and private school grounds.
“This measure will further this administration’s efforts to combat teen smoking in all its forms and help create a stronger, healthier Empire State for all,” Cuomo said. He pointed out that "nicotine use in any form has been shown to be damaging to teens, and this measure will close a dangerous loophole that allows e-cigarettes to be used on school grounds in New York.”
As for bullying, it's no secret the rate of affected students is rapidly increasing. 1 in 5 kids are bullied in New York schools, with a lot of that happening online.
“When examining cyberbullying separate from school bullying, girls were more likely than boys to be cyberbullied — 13 percent vs. 9 percent,” one report said.
Because of fear they may face about interacting with their bullies, victims are six times more likely to skip class to avoid confrontation which can permanently affect their grades.
These statistics are why some schools in New York will be testing out new technology to hopefully reduce the amount of bullying and vaping on campus.
So how will it work?
The new devices, called "Fly Sense" act as a fly on the wall of schools, and include sensors which are set up to detect different changes in environment.
"If someone is inside the bathroom and they vape, it will contaminate the air, our sensor will pick it up and it will alert somebody in real time, 'Hey, there's a problem here, your air is contaminated, somebody could be vaping, somebody could be smoking, send somebody to check it out,'" Digital Fly software developer Billy Schweigert said.
The censor can detect additional moisture in the air, as well as any gas produced which triggers an alert system. As for bullying, the Digital Fly can detect peaks in sound levels to determine if bullying or fighting is potentially happening.
There are no microphones in place, so privacy will not be invaded.
"If we get a spike above the line then we know if there's an incident occurring," Digital Fly CEO Derek Peterson said. "And we notify the officials."
The sensors will be mainly placed in bathrooms, as that is where 43% of students claim to fear bullying the most, and where many students frequent to vape or smoke. The sensors will be programmed to recognize regular noises such as flushing toilets, hand dryers, and running water. It will then alert school officials of any abnormalities detected.
"The key to improving life safety and security in schools is through automated situational awareness," the company's webpage for Fly Sense reads. "Principals and teachers must receive real-time information about a possible threat / situations, so they can initiate the appropriate response plan."
Though this technology could be extremely effective for physical bullying, it still can't solve the problem of emotional or cyberbullying that takes place on a daily basis.
Do you think this technology is worth putting in every school? Let us know.