Students at Wilson High School in Florence, a city roughly 130 miles southwest of Nashville, Tenn., are sneaking electronic cigarettes into school — despite rules prohibiting them from doing so, officials said.
Principal Gary Horton told WAFF that the drastic step was taken after he found a student passed out in the boy's bathroom after vaping two weeks ago. But parents say the move is too invasive.
“I don’t like it. They take their only private place in the school that they can do their business," parent Rachel Munsey told the news outlet. Brandon Campbell, a father of a Wilson student, added: “Me, as a parent, personally, I think that’s a little excessive."
Horton says removing the stall doors from the bathroom could be temporary until school officials find a more permanent solution to prevent students from vaping in bathrooms.
Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, a family and emergency medicine physician, told Fox News on Saturday that when using e-cigarettes, teens "are inhaling these harmful chemicals and toxins into their lungs ... their lungs become inflamed, they get filled with fluid, and they go into respiratory distress," she said, adding "they can't breathe."
Nesheiwat said that vaping companies specifically target teens online, pushing flavors like fruit punch and cotton candy. Because teens' lungs are still developing, she said, vaping could be especially harmful to their age group.
At least 450 cases of possible lung illness — including at least three deaths — have been linked by health officials to vaping. No single vaping device, liquid or ingredient has been tied to all the illnesses, officials said.
Fox News' Sam Dorman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.