Last updated: August 23. 2013 7:20PM - 64 Views

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BATH TOWNSHIP — Bath High School students won $7,500 to use for this year’s prom, but say that’s not why they worked so hard to spread the message that smoking isn’t cool.“It was more about making sure the younger kids knew that smoking was something that wasn’t good,” senior Justina Ansley said. “We knew if we caught them younger our message would get to more people.”Bath took second place in the Prom Raiders contest sponsored by the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation and its stand program, a youth-led tobacco counter-marketing campaign. Students learned of the award Tuesday afternoon, although admitted they had done a lot of snooping around and knew something was up.The statewide contest, which helps de-normalize tobacco use among teenagers, challenges students to creatively demonstrate that the majority of their students do not use tobacco. It is part of the foundation’s Debunkify campaign.Bath students did a number of things, including putting on an assembly for younger students. They plastered the hallways with orange, stand’s signature color, and made a giant “stand” hand and spelled out “stand” by using students dressed in orange.“Bath High School sparked dialogue and made tobacco use an issue among its student body,” said Mike Renner, foundation executive director. “Prom Raiders gives students a vehicle to discover facts about tobacco use and enables them to voice their opinions and educate their peers on the many misconceptions about tobacco.”Students also found a way to raise money by way of several contests, including “Slime the Teacher.” They raised $2,000, part of which will be used toward purchasing a plaque for the school to honor Jim Ehresman, a teacher and coach who died last month. Students will decide later what to do with the rest of the money raised.Teacher Tony Roob said the students in his Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies class came to him about wanting to participate in the contest and took it very seriously. Some students had very personal reasons for their commitment.“For me, I have a history of cancer in my family,” senior Blake Buchman said. “I was never around smoking when I was younger and now when I’m around it, I can’t stand it.”

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