City of Falls Church

The following were among actions taken at the Sept. 5 meeting of the Falls Church School Board. For more information, call 241-7648.

STUDENT SMOKING POLICY REVISED -- The School Board revised a tobacco policy to give school officials more specific guidance about enforcing student no-smoking rules at school-related events that take place off school property.

The previous policy was vague, forbidding students to use tobacco in any form during the school day. It did not address some enforcement problems, such as whether school officials could penalize students for using tobacco outside school property -- at out-of-town events like football games.

The new policy states that a student will not be allowed to use tobacco on school property at any time, nor on field trips or at other events located off school property where the student is representing the school. For example, a cheerleader will not be allowed to smoke during an out-of-town game, but school officials could not stop a student spectator from smoking.

Penalties for violating the new policy remain the same as they were under the old policy, with more severe penalties for students caught using tobacco inside school buildings than for students caught outside, because smoking inside a building is a more serious health and fire hazard.

For smoking outside, a first-time offender would be sent to a no-smoking counseling class held after school, a second-time offender would be suspended inside the school building during school hours and a third-time offender would be suspended from school.

Students caught smoking inside a school building are automatically suspended.

Parents will be notified of each violation.