Central Islip school board ramps up curb of tobacco, marijuana

An exterior image of Central Islip Senior High An exterior image of Central Islip Senior High School in Central Islip. Photo Credit: Google, 2011

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The Central Islip school board plans to ramp up efforts to curb suspected marijuana and cigarette use on high school property, where it has banned e-cigarettes and tobacco use.

At Monday night's school board meeting, two relatives of students spoke about marijuana and tobacco issues they say plague the health of students at Central Islip Senior High School.

Ruben Vallejo, 54, of Central Islip, said his son, who is in 10th grade, complains that he smells marijuana smoke while sitting in class.

"From what I understand, there's kids smoking in the [vacant] rooms . . .," Vallejo told the board. "My kid is in one of the classes, and he says . . . people are getting dizzy in the classroom. What are we doing about it?"

Rosa Quiles, 73, a retired teacher in Hempstead, has two granddaughters at the high school. She asked that the board "eliminate sources of secondhand smoke in any area in our schools."

During the meeting, the school board unanimously passed several new policies and policy amendments, including the ban of e-cigarettes and all tobacco use on school property.

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Craig Carr, schools superintendent, said he has asked the high school principal to investigate reports of marijuana smoking. "We all know that there is use of marijuana and of tobacco products. We are not fooled," he said.

Security personnel will be asked to stop students from leaving and re-entering the building during school hours, Carr said. Security cameras are also in place, and "whenever possible," a teacher or security guard is on duty outside of all open bathrooms, Carr said.

Students thought to be under the influence of a substance will be sent to the nurse's office to have vital signs checked, Carr said. If there are signs "the child is under the influence, the parents will be notified, and the student will be searched," Carr said. If evidence is found, appropriate measures will be taken, ranging from suspension to arrest, Carr said. The new policies can be viewed in full on the school's website at centralislip.k12.ny.us. Cyberbullying and harassment are also prohibited, and the board has implemented rules on public conduct on school property as well as guidelines for maintaining professional staff/student boundaries and for teachers who use personal electronics during school hours.

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