New policies aim to protect students from bullying and vaping
The Kansas State Board of Education took action on a draft policy from their E-Cigarette/Vaping Task Force and heard new recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying on Tuesday.
At the meeting, the State Board of Education approved a policy that prohibits the use of e-cigarettes by students,school staff, and visitors.
"The schools have fairly robust tobacco free school ground policies, but very few of them included vaping devices, or extended the use of that to visitors on school grounds," Education Program Consultant of KSDE, Mark Thompson said.
The policy was forwarded to Kansas School Districts and no tobacco or electric products are allowed on school properties.
"They are to not use the products," Thompson explained. "The policy does not cover them possessing it, so it's specific to their use."
The E-Cigarette/Vaping Task Force is working on disciplinary action if anyone is caught using it. "That's going to be our next step, with the follow up step to help those students that are having trouble quitting to provide schools with sensation options for their students," Thompson said.
Also, the Blue Ribbon Task Force on bullying presented their final report to the Board of Education.
"We suggested that there be a oversight committee that is responsible for looking at the plans and helping to share policies, share approaches that are working across the state," co-chair of Blue Ribbon Task Force, Dr. Rick Ginsberg said.
One of the main recommendations they addressed was changing a key survey they use to measure issues in schools.
"That survey I think will give a sense of whats happening across the state and if we can use that and perhaps some other measures to address, to assess how, or whatever programs we might put in place, that be great," Dr. Ginsberg said.
The E-Cigarette/Vaping Task Force plans to make recommendations for disciplinary actions in January and the board will vote on the bullying recommendations then.