Medora school recognized for tobacco-free policy



The Medora Community School Corp. board of trustees prohibits the use and/or possession of tobacco by students, staff, parents, vendors and others within the school facilities and on the campus.

That’s also prohibited in all vehicles owned or operated by the corporation and at school-sponsored functions away from the school property.

Trustees recognize the use of tobacco presents a health hazard that can have serious consequences both for the user and nonuser of tobacco, which includes cigars, cigarettes, pipes, snuff or any other matter or substance that contains tobacco as well as electronic, vapor or other substitute forms of cigarettes.

School administration takes appropriate action in cases involving those who use and/or possess tobacco in violation of this policy.

Superintendent Roger Bane said all schools that use Neola have a similar tobacco policy.

For having a comprehensive tobacco use school board policy in place, Dr. Tosha Cantrell-Bruce presented a certificate to the board during the Sept. 14 meeting in the school cafetorium.

She was hired by Schneck Medical Center a year ago to serve as Jackson County’s tobacco prevention grant coordinator.

The Jackson County Decreasing Tobacco Use Workgroup is a subgroup of Healthy Jackson County and is funded by a $75,000 grant by the Indiana State Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission with Schneck as the county’s lead agency.

One deliverable of the grant received in 2019 is to assess which school districts within Jackson County have comprehensive tobacco use policies and then recognize those who do or provide guidance to those who do not.

"You’d be amazed that not all school districts in the state have those," Cantrell-Bruce said.

Regardless of the policy, the workgroup aims to work with schools to reduce the impact nicotine and tobacco are having on Jackson County residents.

"The program increases awareness and makes more informed consumers out of our young people about how tobacco and nicotine marketing is directed at them," Cantrell-Bruce said.

She also tries to keep up with the name changes of e-cigarettes so policies can be revised.

"Some call them e-cigs, and others started to call them puff bars, so we try to keep up with that," she said.

She also works with social service agencies, youth organizations and doctors to refer people to the quit line 1-800-QUIT-NOW, which offers six to 12 weeks of free tobacco cessation counseling. She said Marion County has a tobacco cessation program for teenagers.

"We know that most of them if they are going to start have started in junior high, so if you wait until high school, sometimes it’s a little late unfortunately," Cantrell-Bruce said.

She serves as a resource to any entity in Jackson County to decrease and prevent the use of nicotine and tobacco in the county.

She hopes to be able to present certificates to other school boards.

"It is my intent to be put on the agenda to present the certificates at those who fit the criteria," she said. "For those who don’t, we are working with the school districts to make bottom-up change in awareness, behavior and support for such policies."

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For information about the Jackson County Decreasing Tobacco Use Workgroup, contact Tosha Cantrell-Bruce at [email protected] or check out the Healthy Jackson County website at


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