Rules of the School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida
Title 6Gx50
Chapter 7. Facilities and Operations

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Policy 7.19Tobacco Free Environment

  1. Purpose

    The School Board of Palm Beach County (Board) recognizes that the use of tobacco products is a health, safety, and environmental hazard for students, employees, parents, visitors, and school facilities. The School 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 detrimental to the health and safety of students, employees, and visitors. Smoking and other uses of tobacco products are detrimental to health and a significant contributor to medical issues and death. Thus, the purpose of this policy is to establish that the Palm Beach County School District (District) maintains a tobacco-free environment, to provide for notification to the District employees, students and the public; and to provide an effective date of the policy.

  2. Applicability of Policy

    This policy applies to students, employees, volunteers, parents, spectators, and visitors.

  3. Definitions

    For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall apply.

    1. At any time means during normal school and non-school hours: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

    2. Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) means any oral device that provides a vapor of liquid nicotine, lobelia, and/or other substance, and the use or inhalation of which simulates smoking. The term shall include any such devices, whether they are manufactured, distributed, marketed or sold as e-cigarette, e-cigars, e-pipes, or under any other product name or descriptor.

    3. Tobacco product means any lighted or unlighted cigarettes, cigars, clove cigarette, blunts, bidis, pipes, hookah, chewing tobacco, snuff, and any other items containing or reasonably resembling tobacco or tobacco products.

    4. Off-campus, school-sponsored event means any event sponsored by the school or school district that is not on school property, including but not limited to, sporting events, day camps, field trips, seminars, dances, or theatrical productions.

  4. Policy Statement

    No student, employee, volunteer, contractor or school visitor is permitted to use tobacco products of any kind or electronic cigarettes at any time in, on, or during the following:

    1. any building, facility, or vehicle owned, leased, or rented by the District;

    2. any school grounds and property, including all schools, district offices, athletic fields, practice fields, playgrounds, parking lots, administrative offices, maintenance, transportation areas, etc., owned, leased, rented, or chartered by the District; and/or;

    3. at any off-campus, district or school-sponsored event.

  5. Exception

    A school principal may permit tobacco products to be included in counseling, educational, instructional or research activities in the school building; provided that, the activity is conducted or supervised by a District employee overseeing the instruction or research and the activity does not involve smoking, chewing, or otherwise ingesting the tobacco product.

  6. Notification of Policy and Implementation

    Appropriate signage will be posted in a manner and location on all District property that adequately notifies employees, students, parents, visitors and the public of this policy.

  7. Tobacco Promotion Prohibited

    Tobacco advertising is prohibited on school grounds, in all school-sponsored publications, on District vehicles and buses, and at all school-sponsored events. Tobacco promotional items that promote the use of tobacco products, including but not limited to, clothing, bags, lighters and other tobacco articles are not permitted on school grounds, in school-sponsored publications, in school vehicles or at school sponsored events.

  8. Educational and Cessation Programs

    1. Prevention Education for Students. The administration will consult with Student Intervention Services and other 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 ensure that students in grades K-12 receive tobacco prevention education using sequential, age appropriate, current, accurate, evidenced based curricula and a skills-based approach (involving students in active "hands on" learning experiences).

    2. Cessation Support Programs. The administration will consult with Student Intervention Services, the Palm Beach County Health Department, Employee Wellness in Risk & Benefits Management, the American Lung Association and other appropriate health organizations to provide students and employees with information and access to support systems, tobacco use cessation programs, and services to encourage them to abstain from the use of tobacco products.

  9. Responsibility of Administrators

    It is the responsibility of District and School administrators to:

    1. Communicate this policy verbally to students, employees, family members, volunteers and visitors, at school events, through signage, and school handbooks.

    2. Treat violators who are students or employees with disciplinary actions consistent with Board policies.

    3. Ensure that family members, volunteers or visitors who violate the policy discontinue using the tobacco product or electronic cigarette, or leave the premises, Law enforcement officers may be contacted to escort the person off the premises or cite the person for trespassing if the person refuses to leave the school property.

    4. Include the prohibition as provided in this policy in contracts with outside groups who use the school buildings and other facilities.

  10. Disciplinary Actions for Students or Employees Violators

    1. Students. Consequences for students engaging in the prohibited behavior will be provided in accordance with the school's student behavior management plan. In accordance with the School District's Discipline Matrix, the administration will offer violators an Alternative to Suspension (ATS) Program. The ATS program will provide accurate, up-to-date information on the many 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. Suspension will only be used after a student has two or more prior violations or refused to participate in an Alternative to Suspension Program.

    2. Employees. Consequences for employees who violate the tobacco use policy will be in accordance with personnel policies or any relevant collective bargaining agreement.

  11. Effective Date of Policy

    This policy shall take effect in full on July 1, 2012.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY:Fla. Stat. 1001.41; 1001.42
LAWS IMPLEMENTED:Fla. Stat. 386.209
HISTORY:April 6, 1982; December 11, 1985; September 16, 1992; 4/18/2012