To address an increase in e-cigarette use, a revised policy may take effect in the Eden Central School District.
Board of Education members will consider a change to the code of conduct that will allow teachers and administrators to confiscate and keep e-cigarettes. The existing policy lets them confiscate and return the items.
Superintendent Sandy Anzalone raised the issue during the regular and re-organizational meeting Wednesday night in the junior-senior high school’s cafeteria.
“We don’t see them as anything different than a tobacco-like usage or drug-like usage,” she said afterward.
In addition to confiscation, punishments may include a suspension of up to five days, detention and loss of privileges such as extracurricular activities.
She estimated more than five students have been suspended for e-cigarette possession or use. District officials worry about the health risks, some of which are unknown.
“I recognize they are an alternative to cigarettes, but there is no reason for them to be in school,” she said.
Most of the incidents have occurred in rest rooms. E-cigarettes are more difficult to detect than cigarettes because the vapor does not trigger alarms.
“If we’re going to see these e-cigarettes, we’re going to see them in bathrooms,” Anzalone said.
Board members may vote on the change during a special meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 6 in the junior-senior high school cafeteria. The board also expects to approve the property tax rates that night.
The board will conduct its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 in the cafeteria.
In another matter, a parent voiced a concern about busing to and from the Grover L. Priess Primary School.
Kara Mrugala of Weller Drive asked if her 5-year-old would have to walk a half-mile to school.
Afterward, Anzalone told her the district would mail letters to parents about bus routes. Officials are considering group pickup points at Hillbrook Drive and East Pleasant Avenue and in the Weller Drive neighborhood.
To accommodate parents who want to drive children to school early, the district may establish a before-school physical education program.
The board also unanimously re-elected Michael Byrnes as president and Michael Breeden as vice president. Byrnes, Breeden and another re-elected board member, Colin Campbell, started their three-year terms.
The meeting began with an executive session of more than an hour. Board member Paul Shephard left after the executive session.