Repellent noise device may return to Vancouver schools

The Vancouver School Board will debate re-introducing controversial noise-generating devices called Mosquitos to discourage after-hour loitering and vandalism around the city's schools.

Trustees work around legal challenge against mosquito noise generators

The Vancouver School Board has a legal opinion that a spokesman says clears the way for the use of so-called Mosquito noise generators to discourage teen loitering. (Associated Press /Compound Security Systems)

Vancouver School Board trustees will debate the installation of a controversial noise-generating device called the Mosquito that deters vandalism and loitering by emitting an extremely high-pitched sound, on Tuesday night.

In April, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association complained the use of the Mosquito may be violating the rights of the young, because it is generally only heard by people under the age of 25.

But that is just the group the VSB is hoping to discourage from congregating around schools at night and Trustee Mike Lombardi says the board now has a legal opinion that youth rights aren’t being violated. 

"The legal opinion says it’s not a violation of anybody's rights. It's a reasonable approach, considering you're using [the Mosquito] in hours when people shouldn't be on school grounds," Lombardi said.

Lombardi said that until now, the district didn't have a policy governing the use of the device.

"You put in place an enabling policy and now all a school has to do is meet with the principal, talk with the [parents’ advisory council], bring a recommendation and we can go forth," Lombardi said.

Lombardi said the board isn't planning to install Mosquitos across the district, but so far, 30 per cent of schools have asked for them.


With files from the CBC's Ben Hadaway