South Whidbey School Board gives OK to new contracts

The South Whidbey School Board redefined and approved its tobacco and harassment policies at its meeting Wednesday, as well as approving the food service contract for Chartwells through September 2012 and an agreement with the Public School Employees of South Whidbey.

The union contract runs through August 2013.

Smoking and tobacco products are not allowed on school property. However, the invention of smokeless or electronic cigarettes led the district to alter its definition of tobacco products.

Now, in addition to the traditional forms of tobacco — cigarettes, cigars, snuff and nicotine delivering devices — the use of tobacco and nicotine substances policy includes “chemicals or devices that produce the same flavor or physical effect of nicotine substances; and any other tobacco innovation.”

The board also recognized some students may require nicotine replacement therapy, and included a provision to allow it with a physician’s prescription.

South Whidbey has caught up with cyber-bulling. The board amended its prohibition of harassment, intimidation and bullying policy to include messages or images electronically transmitted.

The food service contract with Chartwells was unanimously approved.

Board Member Steve Scoles said he voted against Chartwells’ contract last year, and has since changed his opinion.

The change of heart, or rather stomach, stemmed from Scoles visiting the schools and having lunch a few times.

Board Member Fred O’Neal asked Bruce Ken, a Chartwells representative, about the group’s efforts to have more local food suppliers. Ken said Chartwells is pursuing local products.

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