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LaFAYETTE – The Chambers County Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to revise its policy regarding tobacco use to also include e-cigarettes, commonly known as vaping. 

​“Our tobacco use policy has always applied to students, and all of our campuses are tobacco-free zones. We are now extending it to all employees, as well as visitors to any of our facilities,” said Superintendent Dr. Kelli Hodge. “With documented health risks associated with smoking of any type, we have a responsibility to ensure such dangers do not affect our students, faculty, and members of the general public who frequent our school properties.”

​Dr. Hodge added that signage has been ordered for all facilities district-wide reflecting the new policy, which is effective immediately.

​In other business, the school board concurred with a request by the superintendent to pre-approve certain school field trips and out-of-town travel sanctioned by state organizations. 

​“Our student-athletes routinely attend competition events sanctioned by the Alabama High School Athletic Association. Likewise, our Career Tech students travel out-of-town for activities sanctioned by the Career Technical Student Organization,” said Dr. Hodge. “Previously, the board has addressed all approved out-of-town travel requests individually. However, there have been occasions when students missed out on these opportunities because their travel request for a particular date fell between regular board meetings. This change regarding sanctioned activities only should help eliminate those issues.”

​At the suggestion of board member LaShay Herring. all sanctioned out-of-town travel by students will still be individually identified in monthly information packets supplied to the board.

​In a similar move, the school board approved requests from Valley High School Band Director Kitty Deloach for students at both Valley and W. F. Burns Middle School to attend Honor Band events during the current school year.

​The middle school band will travel to the University of Alabama at Birmingham December 5 – 7, while the high school band will visit the same location December 12 – 14. High school band members will also attend the Troy University Honor Band January 30 – February 1, 2020, and both school bands will travel to Jacksonville State University May 7 – 9, 2020.

​The board of education also conducted it’s second of two required public hearings on a proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The $39.8 million spending plan is less than last year’s budget due to increased funding from federal, state, and local sources. Final action on the budget will be taken during the next regular meeting in September.

By David Bell

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