KHS students sitting in the KHS smoking courtyard in 1986. (TKC 1986 )
KHS students sitting in the KHS smoking courtyard in 1986.

TKC 1986

From the Vault: Smoking area provokes controversy

March 6, 2020

Original story by Joan Wilson appeared in The Call, Oct. 7, 1985

Informal surveys concerning the smoking area are aiding Principal Franklin McCallie in making a decision about whether or not it should be closed.

In his surveys, McCallie asked students if they thought the area should remain open.

“The majority of the people said they thought it should be closed, but a lot of people who don’t use it said they didn’t care,” said McCallie. “Some said keep it open so there won’t be smoking in the bathroom.”

Last spring Paul Fraser, walking counselor, met with students during study hall classes to get their opinions about possibly closing the area.

“We wanted to get a general feeling. Most students didn’t use the area and don’t smoke.” Fraser said. “Some people thought it looked bad and that we should keep the area clean.”

The administration made no changes this year as a result of the meetings. However, it may alter the area in the future, according to Fraser.

One possibility is a gradual phase-out of the site, according to Fraser. This would mean that the administration would not allow the freshman to use it one year, the sophomores the next year, then the juniors, and finally the seniors.

It would be hard to do this, however, Fraser said, because it would be hard to identify which grade a student was in.

McCallie may opt to close the site for several reasons.

“First, the state may vote to not have smoking in public areas. Some states have already done that.

“Second, the marijuana smokers can ruin the campus for all of us by breaking laws, putting others in jeopardy, and not learning. Also, I could be persuaded to not have smoking because it is bad for people,” McCallie said. “If I thought closing it tomorrow would end smoking, I’d do it.

“I don’t like feeling as if I’m condoning such a severe health risk.”

Some students are bothered by smoking in the bathrooms.

“I think they should keep it (the smoking area) open all of the time, so people won’t smoke in the bathrooms,” said Anne Moelk, sophomore. “I hate it when people smoke there because it makes my clothes smell like smoke all day.”

Other students do not like the area because of its appearance.

“I think it looks bad. If they could keep it clean, then it would be all right,” said one sophomore who wished to remain anonymous.

From the Vault: McCallie still considering eliminating smoking area

Original story by Johanna Dus appeared in The Call, September 25, 1989.

Closing the smoking area by 1990 and banning smoking on campus for students, faculty and visitors is still on Principal Franklin McCallie’s agenda.

“Smoking is killing us,” McCallie said. “Because it is a serious health problem, we need to do our part.”

McCallie admits that banning smoking will present problems. He envisions both students and staff resorting to “hiding and smoking because they are addicted.”

Statistics show that most smokers started before the age of 21. This is one of the reasons Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) has introduced a new bill in Washington to restrict smoking for minors.

McCallie supports the bill and wants a smoke-free campus. However, he does not plan on taking action to curb smoking until the board of education supports his efforts. Last year, Rachel McCallie, who was the Student Council President, presented the board with a plan designed to phase out smoking on campus in two years.

This plan included having students attend various presentations on the dangers of smoking and having to obtain a pass to smoke in the smoking area. However, the board did not act on the proposal.

“It’s not forgotten. We just haven’t gotten around to it. With so many things going on we can’t act on everything instantly,” Marilyn Stewart, board member, said.

“We have talked about outlawing smoking for years and no one has done anything,” Brent Sutter, student council president, said. “It’s my goal to go before the board again this year and try to get it [en]act[ed].” Although the board is very busy, many members think they should close the smoking area.

“I’m all for closing the smoking area; I’m tired of the smoking area, and I’m tired of the problems it brings the administration,” Irene Travis, board member, said. “However, I’m worried that the students will find another place to smoke and teachers will have to patrol the whole school.”.

“I”m in favor of eliminating smoking for everybody, but I think it would be hard to enforce.” Bob Edmund, board member, agrees with Travis.

Students have mixed opinions about closing the smoking area.

“I’d like to see the smoking area closed,” Katy Leyhe, junior, said. “I don’t like smoking, and I don’t like it when the smokers smoke out of their area.”

“Smoking is pretty much our right, and most schools allow their students to smoke,” Gus Nanos, senior, said. “If our smoking right is taken away, we would find some other place to smoke at school.”

“I know I won’t stop smoking at school if the smoking area is closed,” Anne Ochampaugh, junior, said. “And the people I know won’t either.”

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

The Kirkwood Call • Copyright 2021 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in

Activate Search
Kirkwood High School student newspaper
From the Vault: Smoking area provokes controversy