On his last full day in office, Governor Christie signed a number of bills into law, including A-493. With a final swipe of the outgoing governor’s pen, this Act makes official New Jersey’s public policy of banning the use of “smokeless tobacco,” a term which includes “snuff, chewing tobacco, or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco,” in public schools.
The newly enacted law requires school districts to place signs at every entrance to a school building, and those signs must state that the use of smokeless tobacco is prohibited on school grounds.
Furthermore, school districts will be required to order any person using smokeless tobacco on school grounds to comply with the ban. School districts which violate the provisions of this Act may also be subject to fines of up $1000 and judicial directives to comply.
Non-student violators of the smokeless tobacco ban may be subject to fines of up to $1000, and student violators who continue to use smokeless tobacco on school grounds after being ordered by the district to comply will be prohibited from participating in all extracurricular activities, including student athletics, and the revocation of student parking permits.
Boards of Education are also required to adopt a policy that establishes the length of a suspension or revocation to be imposed on a student for an initial or subsequent violation of the smokeless tobacco ban.
While the Act does not go into full effect for several months yet, it does state that Board of Education “may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.”
Each year brings its own host of new school laws and regulations, of which the smokeless tobacco act is just one example -- please contact Parker McCay’s school law department for more information on the ever-increasing responsibilities of public school districts to meet and navigate these new requirements.
The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should consult a lawyer concerning your specific situation and any specific legal question you may have.