5 questions: USD 491 board hears students’ tobacco proposal
At a Eudora USD 491 Board of Eudcation meeting, district prevention specialist and students with the Teen Teams Talking Tobacco, or T4, requested the board consider changing the district’s smoking policy so that no smoking would be allowed at any time on school property.
Smoking for non-students currently isn’t prohibited for on school property after school hours.
Superintendent Don Grosdidier talked about how the district will approach the request.
Q: What was the board’s response to the proposed policy?
A: They’re interested in it but really want to explore the implications of it for all parties involved — students, patrons, everyone.
Q: How does the work of Chrissy Mayer and the T4 group reflect upon the district?
A: If reflects very well on the district. It’s encouraging to me that we have members of our student body who are willing to come to the board of education and express a concern that they have.
That’s important and it speaks well of those students that they have the confidence and the willingness to put in the time to do that. It was obvious that they did put in a lot of time to do the research.
Q: What are the main hurdles to passing the policy?
A: The board has a lot of concerns over the language of the proposed policy. It’s very detailed and we certainly want to have it reviewed by our attorney. Probably the biggest concern is the enforcement of it.
Q: What particular issues would the board like changed?
A: We would like for a person smoking to just extinguish their cigarette, rather than have to leave the premises. We need to look at the bigger picture and find out what truly are the concerns and how can we address them. The group said that there are ways to make this easier through education, signage announcements and things of that nature.
Q: What’s the next step?
A: We’ll review this with the attorneys and look at various options. I want to do some research on the other districts that have this policy. Then, we’ll come back in October and review it. Does that mean that we’ll make a decision on it in October? Not necessarily, but I’ll give the board more information and we’ll go from there.