Though three out of four board members verbally opposed "Tobacco 21," the Pine River-Backus School Board ultimately agreed unanimously to support a minimum legal sales age of 21 for tobacco products.
The board is supporting this initiative by Cass County, which is mulling over a decision.
School board members Dawn Rubner, Chris Cunningham and Katy Botz voiced opposition to the restriction, saying that if 18-year-olds are able to join the military or be drafted, they should be allowed to decide to smoke. Other board members did not speak in opposition or support.
The board ultimately passed the resolution without any votes of opposition.
Superintendent Dave Endicott said the measure was being considered, in part, because of the growing issue of electronic cigarettes, as well as tobacco use among students as a whole. In Cass County, Endicott said, student tobacco use is high.
In other business Monday, Jan. 7, the board:
• Approved a three-year contract for Endicott.
• Granted the administration the ability to make recommendations for reductions in programs and positions. This is a resolution passed generally every year in case cuts become necessary, though it will not necessarily be used.