KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Kingsport City Schools sent a letter expressing concern for students’ health and urging parents to discuss the dangers of drugs.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Andy True said the school system has seen a major increase in students using vaping devices on campus.

“Roughly 111 last year, we have more than that already,” True said. “We have more than double that already this year and we still have several weeks of school left to go.”

This health concern has caused schools such as Dobyns-Bennett High School to start implementing strategies to combat these issues. The school has installed vape sensors and closed down certain bathrooms during certain times of the day.

“Unfortunately, it’s probably about 40 to 50 students that we deal with regularly that cause the restrooms to have to be shut down just because we do not have the manpower to staff,” said school resource officer Mark Smelser. “But that’s the way we’re able to put safety controls in measure.”

Smelser said that Resource Officers confiscate an average of 60 to 110 vapes a day but it varies every day.

“We find a lot of vapes in the school that aren’t connected to people,” Smelser said. “They might have fallen out of a pant leg, they have fallen out of a hoodie, they get left in a restroom, sitting on a toilet paper dispenser, just various locations.”

Vicki Johnston, the nursing supervisor for Kingsport City Schools, said nurses are watching out for any kind of drug-related symptoms.

“One of the things that we have frequently seen is the rapid heart rate,” said Johnston. “The heart rate for these students will be about 100, 120, 150 range, which is one of the classic things that you could see with someone that has used drugs.”

School officials are working to keep students safe.

“For us, the biggest issue is what can we do to protect the health of our students,” said True. “Making sure that everyone is on the same page with that, trying to save lives, trying to improve and prevent negative health implications for our students is our primary goal.”