Eudora High School sophomore Madeline Dickerson remembers leaving the soccer field gasping for air, only to get an unpleasant surprise.
“We’ve had games we’ve gone to, and as you’re coming off the sideline, you walk into a cloud of smoke,” she said.
Dickerson said that was one reason she and three other EHS students are launching an anti-smoking campaign that will include asking the school board to ban smoking on all district property. At Friday’s football game, students will distribute fake tattoos and miniature footballs with anti-smoking messages.
“I think it makes Eudora, as a school district, look better because we’re able to go out and tell people not to smoke,” junior Cecilia Lehmann said.
The students call themselves Teen Teams Talking Tobacco — T4 — and recently secured a $1,250 grant from the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition. Chrissy Mayer, the district’s prevention specialist, is helping Dickerson, Lehmann, sophomore Bria Carder and senior Dalton Hladky with their mission.
On Sept. 10, T4 takes its cause to the school board. Smoking already is prohibited in district buildings but is allowed outside the buildings and at athletic fields after school hours.
“We’re not trying to make people quit. We just want smoke-free areas for the students,” Dickerson said.
In the area, Lawrence and De Soto school districts already have policies similar to the one the students will ask the board to approve. Baldwin City and Tonganoxie do not.