School district smoking policy gets upgraded

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By Lea Kahn
The Hopewell Valley Regional School District has banned smoking from school grounds for years – but that typically meant cigars, cigarettes and pipes, and the policy did not define “school grounds.”
In response to newer forms of tobacco use and to define “school grounds,” the Board of Education has expanded and updated its “Smoking on School Grounds” policy to be renamed the “Smoking in School Buildings and on School Grounds” policy.
The updated policy, which was approved at the school board’s Nov. 13 meeting, applies to students and school district employees.
The revised policy defines “smoking” as burning or inhaling or exhaling smoke from a tobacco product – including smokeless tobacco and snuff, and electronic smoking devices.
The new policy defines “electronic smoking device” as an “electronic device that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including, but not limited to, an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo or pipe.”
The original policy defined “school buildings and school grounds” as any property, buildings or vehicles owned, operated or used for school-district sponsored events. But the definition has been expanded to include school wastewater treatment facilities, generating facilities and other central facilities.
The expanded definition also includes athletic stadiums, swimming pools, grandstands, greenhouses, garages and facilities used for non-instructional or non-educational purposes. The school administration building is folded into the definition of “school buildings and school grounds.”
And to make it crystal clear, the policy explicitly bans smoking “at all times anywhere in school buildings or on other school grounds.” Signs that indicate smoking is banned in the building will be posted at each public entrance to the building.