Aussie high school constructs iron gates around toilet block to stop teenagers from vaping inside, students claim: ‘It’s like a prison’
- A school in Queensland has installed metal bars around a toilet block
- Some students said it is to stop teens from vaping but invades others’ privacy
- The education department said the design is not linked to vaping in any way
A high school’s new half-a-million dollar toilet block redevelopment has been compared to a prison with iron bars to ‘prevent them from vaping’, students claim.
Work on the Cleveland District High School facilities is under construction, with the Queensland Education Department saying the project was an upgrade and in no way linked to e-cigarettes.
Both the student council and the P&C have reviewed the plans and given the design the okay, the department said.
But one student said vaping was an issue at the school, and the $500,000 project was an invasion of privacy for the entire student cohort.
A Queensland school has installed metal bars around a toilet block instead of a wall in some parts to prevent students from secretly vaping (stock image)
‘It’s like a prison,’ one student told The Courier Mail.
They said a teacher told them non-vapers would not be affected, but they felt they were being unfairly targeted.
‘I don’t think the school should punish everyone.’
‘A lot of students are upset by it and it’s not going to stop them vaping.’
An education department spokesperson said the new toilet block features private cubicles, but the wash basins were in an open area surrounded by metal bars – to ensure better ventilation and safety.
‘The refit of the toilet blocks is not related in any way to vaping,’ the spokesman said.
The current redevelopment affects the male toilets but not the female amenities with those having been done in a similar style with bars three years ago.
The Education Department said the design at the Cleveland District State High School facilities was not linked to vaping (pictured)
Another south-east Queensland school, Immanuel Lutheran College, revealed last month they would be cracking down on vaping by installing vape detectors on CCTV camera near toilet blocks.
Principal Colin Minke said Instagram and TikTok had ‘glamourised’ vaping and he was working ‘diligently to educate students on their dangers’.
Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace earlier this year said vaping was not a rapidly growing problem.
‘Obviously, vaping is a concern, but it’s no bigger an issue than kids bringing cigarettes to school in my day – it’s not a bigger issue than that.’
Ms Grace later backtracked those comments saying she intended to communicate vaping is as serious an issue as smoking and was not trying to downplay the practice.