Board bans all smoking in city school buildings

February 19, 1993|By Mark Bomster | Mark Bomster,Staff Writer

Citing complaints from students and teachers about tobacco smoke, the Baltimore school board voted unanimously last night to ban smoking in all city school buildings.

The action came at a meeting at which the board also set a March 18 public hearing on a revised school rezoning plan, and received recommended changes to the city's high school graduation requirements.

The smoking ban would go into effect at a date to be set by school Superintendent Walter G. Amprey, who said he would move quickly.

Even if the board hadn't acted, some kind of smoking ban would have taken effect in September anyway, under a statewide policy set by the Maryland Board of Education last year. Carroll and Harford counties have similar bans in place already.

Lloyd T. Bowser Sr., the city board member who proposed the ban last night, said he was reacting to complaints from several schools.

Smoke from poorly ventilated smoking rooms often seeps into adjoining classrooms, or travels through a school's ventilation system, he said.

In other action, the board received recommended changes to the graduation requirements for students entering ninth grade this September.

Those changes, prompted by new state mandates, include the controversial requirement that each student complete 75 hours of community service to get a diploma.

Under a series of options presented last night, students could complete their community service through after-school volunteer work; in-school tutoring or other service; weekend, summer or evening service; or activities associated with classes they are taking.

The requirements also include stiffer academic courses for many students, including three laboratory sciences, algebra and geometry, two years of a second language or career and technology training, and completion of a senior-year project.

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