The Wilkes County Board of Education recognizes the use of tobacco products is a health, safety, and environmental hazard for students, employees, visitors, and school facilities. The Board believes that the use of tobacco products on school grounds, in school buildings and facilities, on school property, or at school-related or school-sponsored events is harmful to the health and safety of students, staff, and visitors. The Board acknowledges that adult employees and visitors serve as role models for students. The Board recognizes that it has a responsibility to promote positive role models in schools and promote a healthy learning and working environment, free from unwanted smoke and tobacco use for the students, employees, and visitors on the school campus. Finally, the Board recognizes that it has a legal authority and obligation pursuant to G.S. 115C-407 Policy Prohibiting Tobacco Use in School Buildings as well as the federal Pro-Children's Act, Title X of Public Law 103-227 and the No Child Left Behind Act.
Tobacco Use Prohibited
No students, staff members, or school visitors may be permitted to use tobacco products or electronic cigarettes of any kind on school property at any time. This will include athletic fields and parking lots owned, leased, rented, or chartered by the Wilkes County Board of Education. This will also include any school-sponsored or school-related event on campus or off campus in view of the general public or any or all persons of student age.
In addition, school district employees, school volunteers, or other persons performing services on behalf of the school district are also prohibited from using tobacco products at any time while on duty either on or off school grounds in the presence of students.
Further, no student is permitted to possess a tobacco product while in any school building, while on school grounds or property or at any school-sponsored or school-related event, or at any other time that students are under the authority of school personnel.
Tobacco products may be included in instructional or research activities in public school buildings if the activity is conducted or supervised by the faculty member overseeing the instruction or research and the activity does not include smoking, chewing, or otherwise ingesting the tobacco product.
Definition of Tobacco Products, Tobacco Use, and Electronic Cigarette
For the purposes of this policy, "tobacco product" is defined to include cigarettes, cigars, blunts, bidis, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, and any other items containing tobacco. "Tobacco use" includes smoking, chewing, dipping, or any other use of tobacco products. An electronic cigarette is defined as a cigarette-shaped device containing nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled, used to simulate the experience of smoking tobacco.
Signs will be posted in a manner and location that adequately notify students, staff, and visitors of/about the tobacco-free schools' policy.
Enforcement for Students
Consequences for engaging in the prohibited behavior will be provided in accordance with the school's student behavior management plan. Students who violate the school district's tobacco use policy will be referred to the counselor, an in-school cessation program provided, or other health or counseling services for all offenses for health information, counseling, and referral. The administration will consult with appropriate health organizations in order to provide student violators with access to up-to-date information on the consequences of tobacco use, offer techniques that students can use to stop tobacco use at school, and provide referrals to local youth tobacco cessation programs. Parents/guardians will be notified of all violations and actions taken by the school. The school may also use community service as part of the consequences.
Enforcement for Staff
Staff will be notified of all consequences relating to the violation of the tobacco-free schools' policy. Consequences for employees who violate the tobacco use policy will be in accordance with personnel policies and may include verbal warning and written reprimands. Consequences will be consistent throughout the Wilkes County School System.
Enforcement for Visitors
Visitors using tobacco products will be asked to follow school policy.
Opportunities for Cessation
The administration will consult with the health department or other appropriate health organizations to provide students and employees with information and access to support systems, programs, and services to encourage them to abstain from the use of tobacco products.
The administration will consult with appropriate health organizations to identify and provide programs or opportunities for students to gain a greater understanding of the health hazards of tobacco use and the impact of tobacco use as it relates to providing a safe, orderly, clean, and inviting school environment. The administration will insure, per G.S. 115C-81.a3.11, that the State Mandated Curriculum for grades K-9 will be taught using sequential, age-appropriate, current, accurate, evidence-based curricula, and a skills-based approach (involving students in active "hands-on" learning experiences).
Procedures for Implementation
The administration will develop a plan for communicating this policy which will include information in student and employee handbooks, announcements at school-sponsored or school-related events, and appropriate signage in buildings and around campus. Enforcement procedures, which identify consequences for students, staff, and visitors who violate the policy, will be communicated to all students, staff, and parents.
Legal References: P.L. 103-227; 20 U.S.C. 6081-6084; Pro-Children Act of 1994; G.S. 115C-407(18)
Adopted: March 6, 2006
Revised: April 4, 2011; December 2, 2013