Sixth-Graders Spur Pearland Smoking Ban

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PEARLAND, Texas — Voters have approved a smoking ban championed by a sixth-grade class that drafted the proposal and gathered signatures to put it on the ballot.

About 80 percent of voters in this southeast Texas town approved the ordinance on Tuesday. It bans smoking in restaurants, auditoriums, stadiums and most other public places.

A Sablatura Middle School sixth-grade science class began the campaign last spring after a discussion about the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

The students drafted an ordinance proposal and then collected signatures at a local YMCA and by going door to door. They gathered more than enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

"I'm going to go home and put my head in my pillow and just scream," Savannah Owen, 12, said Tuesday night. "It's amazing that kids like us can start something like this and people will listen to us."