an editorial – School expands tobacco policy; should clear up alcohol ban

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The Marysville School Board took a step forward at last Thursday’s board meeting by adding electronic smoking devices and vaping products to its list of banned items not allowed on school property. At the same time, it left the use of alcohol on school property at non-school events up in the air.
The policy banning the use of tobacco products by students, staff members and volunteers had already been in effect, and the action at Thursday’s meeting simply added vaping and electronic smoking to the list. The ban also includes volunteers and school visitors in its application. The prohibition applies to any building, facility or vehicle owned, leased, rented or chartered by the district. It also includes school grounds, athletic facilities and parking lots. It applies “at any time, including non-school hours.”
The newly amended policy does not use the term “any person” in its ban. Instead it uses the words “school visitor” to refer to non-school personnel.
We agree with the board’s action on amending the tobacco use policy, but we also strongly feel that it should have included the use of alcohol in its resolution.
Several months ago, a proposal to allow alcohol use in the new football stadium at non-school events was put on the agenda of an upcoming board meeting. When we learned about the proposal, the Journal-Tribune reported on it to alert the public that it was going to be considered. After the J-T article was published, school officials removed the proposal from the agenda of the next meeting. Even so, residents attended that meeting and expressed their opposition to it. However, since then, the superintendent and school board have been disturbingly mum on its future. We wonder, is there a possibility that it will reappear sometime in the coming months? A better question is, why was it brought up in the first place?
Other school systems, including Dublin and Jonathan Alder, have indicated their opposition to such a policy. It sends a negative message to school children, taxpayers and the community in general, to allow the sale and use of alcohol on school property for any reason.
While we applaud school officials for implementing a stricter ban on the use of tobacco-related products on school property, we also challenge them to put to rest the possibility that alcohol use will be allowed on that same property. We pledge to the community that we will continue our vigilance and provide any information if the alcohol proposal is resurrected.



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