This fall, the Timber Lake School Board revised and passed the district’s Tobacco Policy while maintaining a respect of the Lakota culture.
Utilizing local resources, Timber Lake School made changes to the policy, which is pro-student in its proactive approach to student education, by incorporating protection for the use of traditional Lakota tobacco.
Board Member, and a public health nurse, Rae O’Leary provided valuable input toward the final product.
“With a high portion of American Indian students and staff in our district, the school board was supportive of this modified policy,” O’Leary said.
A feature incorporated into the new policy is the opportunity for students in violation of the policy to engage in educational lessons that teach them about the dangers of commercial tobacco use. The lessons also encourage students to make better, more informed decisions in the future. The new tobacco education component has been well received.
“We are very proud of our school board for acknowledging the difference between traditional Lakota tobacco and commercial/manufactured tobacco in the new tobacco policy,” O’Leary said.
We are also excited about our school’s proactive, educational approach to handling tobacco violations and are optimistic that this change will have a positive impact on the students of Timber Lake School District.”
In addition to the Timber Lake School District, O’Leary will assist other schools.
“Mrs. O’Leary will also be working with other school districts on the Cheyenne River Reservation in the near future to adopt similar changes,” Superintendent Dan Martin said.