RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Another local school district is going tobacco free. In a unanimous vote, the Chesterfield County School Board approved a ban Tuesday night, saying it promotes a healthy environment for students and staff.
Parents like Lanice Copeland, who has five children in the district, welcome the change. “It’s a health issue, then on top of that it promotes more positiveness towards the kids not seeing people smoking.” She hopes it helps to promote healthier habits among students. “Kids learn when they’re younger, so if they don’t see certain things when they’re younger most likely they’re not more to fall into those things when they’re older.”
Up until now, there were rules prohibiting students from having tobacco products, but adults were allowed to light up or chew on school grounds. Starting July 1, 2015, that will all be a thing of the past. The ban applies to all teachers, parents and visitors. It’s on all tobacco products on all school property, including athletic fields and parking lots.
Opponents night say their habits are their own business, but seventh grade student Jamar Gills says this ban will help his classmates breathe easier. “We don’t have to go outside when it’s gym and see cigarettes everywhere, no more smoking, no more worried about teachers coming in smelling like it. As long as it’s a positive difference, it works for me.”
8News also checked in with other school districts to see how they handle tobacco:
Henrico – District-wide ban on all tobacco-related products. It includes teachers, staff and parents
Petersburg – District-wide ban on all tobacco-related products. It includes teachers, staff and parents
We are still waiting to hear back from Richmond and Hanover about their policies.
To read the full policy, click here.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond