District may go smoke-free
Seneca Valley School District officials this year might consider joining the ranks of nonsmoking school districts in the North Hills.
The school board each year draws up a list of goals, and this year's list included studying banning smoking on district property.
School board President John Mitro said the list of goals is preliminary, and the only action he predicted was that the board would authorize administrators to look into any costs and implications of such a ban.
In April, a Seneca Valley senior asked the board to make the district's smoking policy applicable to everyone - students, teachers and visitors.
Now, only students are banned from smoking on campus.
The student's presentation was well-received by the school board at the time and probably was the reason the board will consider any action, Mitro said.
He was leery of offering an opinion on the proposal, however, and said he wonders how difficult a smoking ban would be to put into practice.
"Implementation becomes a question of realism," Mitro said. "We're dealing with people; we're dealing with a choice that someone has made; and we're dealing with health issues.
"It's very, very difficult to legislate that."
Several districts have, however. In Pine-Richland, for instance, no one is allowed to smoke on school grounds. That means staff members occasionally have to leave campus to smoke, said Mary Pegher, a school district secretary.
Likewise, Shaler Area's anti-smoking policy applies to everyone, including employees and visitors.
North Allegheny's policy bans smoking during school hours but allows it after school in designated areas around the grandstand of Newman Stadium.