Wednesday, June 3, 2015

All Webster County schools now tobacco free

J-E Editor

When Webster County students and faculty return from summer break, they will return to a campus that will be completely tobacco-free.

Webster County School Board members voted unanimously last Tuesday night to approve a measure that will make all district property, vehicles and buildings officially tobacco-free.

That ban will also extend to all school sponsored trips and sporting events and will affect not only students and staff, but visitors to the schools and school functions as well.

Banned items include all tobacco products as well as vapor devices and alternative nicotine products.

“This is something the YES Youth Council has been working on for years,” said board member Mickey Dunbar, who worked closely with YES in the past. “I think it is very important that we educate our students minds and educate them about their bodies.”

The board stressed the importance of informing schools who will be visiting the Webster Campus about the ban so that students, teachers and parents are all aware that there is not tobacco use in Webster County.

“I will enjoy being able to walk out of a basketball game without having to navigate a gauntlet of cigarette smoke,” Dunbar added. “I think this will set a good precedence for the other schools in our area.”

When YES sponsor Donna Bumpus and her students first approached the board last fall, although they were supportive, board members voiced some concern that some people would be upset about the ban, especially during ball games. More recently board members have said they have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the community.

The ban will go into effect on July 1, 2015, which is the first day of the new school year for district employees. The ban will be in effect 24/7, meaning even when there are no students on campus, adult faculty and staff will not be allowed to use any of the banned products on campus.

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