School officials plan to close a loophole in the schools’ smoking policy by banning tobacco all the time — not just when school is in session.
The Board of Education had its first reading of an updated policy at a recent school board meeting. School Supt. Elizabeth Feser said the current policy, last updated in 1999, needed tweaking.
The current policy states, “Smoking and the use of tobacco is prohibited on school grounds while school is in session.”
The new policy states that smoking is prohibited in school buildings, on school property, on school buses, vans, or any school-provided transportation, or at any school-sponsored activity.
“Smoking is also prohibited at any time in any offices assigned to, or any areas used by Board of Education personnel, and at public meetings held under the auspices of the Board of Education,” the policy reads.
The policy applies to the lighting or carrying of a cigarette, cigar, pipe or similar device, or the use of smokeless or chewing tobacco.
Board member Dora Kubek suggested that the policy also specify the banning of e-cigarettes.
An electronic cigarette, also known as an e-cigarette or an e-cig, is an electrical device that simulates the act of tobacco smoking by producing an inhaled vapor bearing the physical sensation, appearance, and often the flavor (with or without nicotine content) of inhaled tobacco smoke, without its odor or health risks, according to an online resource.
The policy states that the board’s goal is to maintain and improve the health and well-being of students, employees and community members.
“The board recognizes that medical research has proven that smoking and the use of tobacco products poses a significant risk to the health of the smoker and nonsmoker,” the policy reads.
The policy also suggests that adults should be positive role models for students and shouldn’t smoke in front of them.
There is a separate policy for students prohibiting smoking at any school activity.