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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Hillsborough policies get a makeover



Hillsborough County School Board members have begun plowing through a long list of policies that need to be tweaked in one of three meetings they will have beginning at 8:30 a.m. and likely lasting late into the evening.

First up: Smoking. Should campuses have designated smoking areas for staff and visiting parents? For example, guests at sporting events?

"I don't want to ban tobacco to such an extent that parents stop coming to school functions," said member Candy Olson. Nor, she added later, does she want to tell teachers, who already are under enormous stress, that they must leave campus during what is sometimes a 12-hour day to have a cigarette.

Member Susan Valdes disagreed.

"It sends a poor message to have a smoking area on campus," she said. "If we want to set an example that smoking is not accepted in our schools, it should not be accepted anywhere on our campus."

No decision was taken, although a long discussion followed about field trips, night school for adults, prom, and other events when people might want to light up.

The board also began to discuss student residency rules, but chairwoman April Griffin suggested they save that topic for their 2 p.m. meeting.

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:40am]


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