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Tobacco gets snuffed out at Crawford

April 29, 2009
The Crawford County Community School Corp. Board of Trustees sent a strong message to students last Tuesday night, when it made all of its campuses tobacco-free.

Smoking, as well as the use of smokeless tobacco, has been prohibited by students on school grounds for years, but not to adults, making Crawford County one of the only school corporations in the area not to be tobacco-free.

Following a presentation by school nurses Kim Allen and Donna Huff and Missy Stroud of Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation, the seven-member school board, meeting in regular session at the corporation's Administrative Building south of Marengo, voted unanimously to change that.

Not only does allowing adults to use tobacco products on school grounds send a bad message to students, Allen said, it makes the corporation ineligible for various grant dollars.

Becoming a tobacco-free corporation may upset some people, Allen said, but once people get used to the change, everything should be fine.

"I really honestly believe it will be a smooth transition," she said.

The policy adopted by the school board will allow adults to use tobacco products only in their vehicles while on school property, and those who leave ball games to do so will have to repay to get back inside. That is consistent with the policies of other corporations, Allen said.

The tobacco-free policy is not only during school events, but also when other groups, such as Crawford County Youth Baseball-Softball, use the facility. Saturday's opening day for the organization was the first major event with the new policy in effect.

Will Wright, a coach with the program, told the board that the policy is needed. In past seasons, people would smoke in the stands right behind home plate, making it impossible for batters and catchers to not inhale the smoke.

Stroud said ITPC will provide the signage notifying the public that the campuses are tobacco-free, and the corporation will not have any financial responsibility.

The school board, if it chooses, can establish a fine for adults who are caught using tobacco outside of their vehicles, as well as in school-owned vehicles.

Stroud added that the ITPC will provide an awareness program for youth who get caught with tobacco. She will lead the first class at the Crawford County Youth Service Bureau while also training YSB personnel so they can lead subsequent offerings.

Trustee Lucas Stroud made the motion to become a tobacco-free school corporation, and Myrna Sanders seconded it.

"I'd like to be the first to thank you guys for making this move," Stroud told the board.

In other matters, the school board:

•Named Mike Holzbog its appointment to the English Parks and Recreation Board. Trustee Lee Holzbog abstained from the vote.

•Voted 5-1-1 (Lee Holzbog against; Lucas Stroud abstained) to approve the following as part of a single-vote consent agenda:

—The resignations of Jennifer Carlton, Title I assistant at Milltown Elementary School effective March 20; Alan Cox, girls' junior varsity basketball coach; Laura Watts, Spell Bowl coach at Leavenworth Elementary; and Kevin Milligan, track coach at English Elementary.

—Amy Hollen, Donna Jones, Anthony Spinner, Megan Timberlake and Brian Traylor as volunteer track coaches at Marengo Elementary.

—Kimberly Faith Sitter as Title I assistant at Milltown Elementary starting April 1.

—The donation of science equipment to Crawford County Junior-Senior High School from Joyce Gray-Richie of Bartlesville, Okla.

—The 2009-10 school calendar. The first day for students will be Monday, Aug. 10, while the last day will be Friday, May 21.

—A resolution for declaration of emergency allowing Capital Project Fund dollars to be used for structural maintenance at Milltown Elementary to rid the building of termites and prevent future damage.

—A resolution for declaration of emergency allowing Capital Project Fund dollars to be used for structural repairs at English, Leavenworth and Marengo Elementary school to prevent permanent damage to the buildings caused from leakage in their outer block wall structures.

—A field trip to Chicago on May 18 through 20 for Leavenworth Elementary sixth-graders.

—Carly Kaiser as Science Bowl coach and Eric Emerson as Spell Bowl coach, both at Leavenworth Elementary.

—Monte Eckert as track coach at English Elementary.

—The 2009 Social Studies textbook adoption list for CCJSHS.

—A field trip to Hawaii on June 8 through 25, 2010, for students in grades 10 through 12. Students will take a course on marine science, learning about the marine life of Hawaii, to receive high school credit. They will be responsible for raising funds to pay their own expenses.

—The transfer of bus route No. 19 from Donnie Goldman to Melanie Hollen effective April 22.

—Jelynn Crecelius as high school cheerleading coach and Chris Moe as junior varsity volleyball coach.

—The 2009-10 CCJSHS handbook.

—Ruth Ory as a homebound instructor for a high school student.

The school board will next meet May 19.

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