By Chris Neidenberg / Reporter
EAST RUTHERFORD (Nov. 15, 2010) — There's no ifs, ands or butts. New statewide regulations, cracking down on school smoking, guarantee "an absolute zero tolerance" at Henry P. Becton Regional High School, warns Board Member Richard Vartan.
At the regional school board's Nov. 10 meeting, trustees approved Vartan's motion to incorporate the new edicts into Becton's policy manual. Vartan explained the tougher restrictions are "bolier-plate regulations," taken from state statutes and not just specific to Becton.
The tougher language includes allowing the principal or a designee "to order the departure and removal of any person who continues to smoke in violation of" current rules "after being ordered to stop." Further, it allows school authorities "to request the assistance of law enforcement to accomplish this departure or removal."
The new policy also requires the district to comply with any provisions of municipal ordinances with "restrictions on, or prohibitions against, smoking" exceeding even state law.
"These new sanctions leave no doubt whatsoever that smoking can never be tolerated on our property at any time during the school day," Vartan explained.
"Not only do we kick students off our property. We'll sign police complaints against them for violations which could lead to $250 fines and require they appear in municipal court," said Principal David Mango, noting that Officer Kenneth Felten, police liaison to Becton, helps process summonses.