“Tobacco Free Campus”

Bailey Yarborough

McPherson High School is a supporter of a tobacco-free campus. Any student in a school associated activity such as sports, band, or clubs, has to sign a release form stating that the school has a right to test any student who signs. This ensures that they can randomly drug test you. So that varsity football player most likely wouldn’t get drug tested. This is not always the case, however it is most common. I asked Scott Radke, “Have you been drug tested this year and did you feel you were targeted?” He replied “Yes and yes.”

That being said, I have first handedly seen the usage of tobacco in our school, yet no actions are taken to see that there are students using. “I started at 14 and I’ve been dipping for 4 years. Heck yeah I dip in school. Oh yeah, nobody knows.” – Anonymous.
“Eighth grade ‘till senior year. Everyday even in school. No one knows.” – Anonymous. I believe we need to attract more attention to our school’s drug policy because of the health and psychological risks it presents to students.

Teen usage of tobacco in the United States has dropped the past years, but there are still 11% of teens that have reported using tobacco in the past months (hhs.gov). There are so many health risks including lung diseases, cancers, and asthma, yet it is still used. But, aside from the health risks, it is illegal if you are under the age of 18 and it is still punishable if you do it in school, regardless of age.

This is where school comes in. At McPherson High School, the only attention towards drug use is small signs that “say tobacco free campus;” however, there is a section in the agenda that informs students, but I do not foresee many students reading the policies and uses. McPherson High School is terrible with supporting a tobacco-free zone. I believe we need to promote a safer, drug-free environment. I know teachers and administrators, for the most part, are unaware of the students’ usage in school. Whether it is bringing in speakers to inform or actually using the drug release forms they make students sign!