JCPS' Smoke-Free, Tobacco-Free District Policy Begins Now
Jefferson County Public Schools joins the minority of Kentucky school districts that have implemented a district-wide smoke-free policy.
The policy was passed by the JCPS school board last year and is now in effect.JCPS Spokesman Ben Jackey says the district wants to set a good example for students and faculty and says it will disallow anyone from smoking at all school facilities at any time. The JCPS policy will also extend to field trips and school parking lots.“It also makes sure that parents, visitors, cannot smoke either during school time, school hours or at school events, things like a football game, a baseball game," he says.Officials say while the policy is not meant to be punitive, violation will be handled on an individual basis and in repeated offenses, progressive discipline may begin."JCPS did a great job of communicating the new policy to personnel and visitors, including a notice on their website, media coverage and plenty of signs around school buildings," said Elizabeth Anderson-Hoagland with the Kentucky Department for Public Health in an email.There are 28 Kentucky school districts that have some form of a tobacco policy in place, according to the department's website tracking smoke-free school districts. The public health department has minimum requirements in order to be included on the list, such as extending the 100 percent smoke-free policy across the entire district on all campuses. Only a few states have a law in place requiring all schools to be smoke-free, says Hoagland. Included on that list is North Carolina, which has provided studies showing the positive effects of such policies when compared to schools without them.Here is a Q and A provided by JCPS: