Colton High “Fact of the Day” – Sept. 8


Back in 1975, Colton High debated whether or not to add a designated smoking section for students.

Colton High School opened in 1895. It is one of the oldest high schools in the Inland Empire. In this daily feature, we celebrate Colton High’s rich history.

In 1975, Colton High School debated the merits of creating a designated smoking area for students.

This was in response to the news that on January 1 that year, the California state legislature would enact legislation giving local school boards the power to designate smoking areas on high school campuses.

At Colton High, this sparked debate over health issues. Principal Neil Case pointed out that “The law still says that we must teach the harmful effects of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol, but we are condoning smoking by giving CHS an area for smokers. I don’t like the concept of hypocrisy involved.”

While the Principal acknowledged the academic challenges associated with such a place, students shared different opinions. An unnamed underclassman said, “We really need a place to smoke without have to worry about getting busted. It’s something we should have.”

Not every student agreed. Another unnamed student said, “Why should those who do smoke be awarded a smoking area, while those who don’t get nothing? It’s like praising them for their efforts, encouraging them to smoke, and that’s neither fair nor right!”

Had the smoking area been created, students would have had to follow strict rules. In order to be allowed in the smoking area, students would have needed to have their student IDs present to show upon request. Additionally, only students 16 years or older would have been allowed to smoke in the area. Fifteen-year old students would have needed parental consent.

Times have changed. Across CJUSD, this year there have been zero tobacco or nicotine related incidents reported to site administration at Colton High, according to Melissa Kingston, Director of Student Services.