Smokers, beware. The already-hostile atmosphere for smokers in public schools has gotten even more repressive. The Orange County School Board on Tuesday night expanded a policy that prevents tobacco use in school buildings so that it prohibits tobacco use anywhere on school grounds or on Board property, including recreational areas and stadiums. Visitors are expected to comply, as well. Lake County schools already have a similar no-tobacco policy.
Enforcement, which includes referral to a smoking cessation program, is set to begin January 1, 2012. The new policy will enable principals to end teacher smoke breaks, board members were told.
The Board’s only hesitiation was the cost of mounting signage at all of its properties, as well as the printing costs for cards to hand out to violators. But the Orange County Health Department stepped in and paid the entire cost.
In return, the board was presented with bags and T-shirts from the “All In” project, an anti-tobacco organization funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Board member Kat Gordon asked, half-seriously, if the T-shirts were cheap, so as to be allowable gifts to school board members, who can’t take valuable items.