LAKEWOOD HIGH’S “SACRAMENTO SEVEN” TO TESTIFY IN CAPITOL BUILDING WEDNESDAY FOR THEIR ASSEMBLY BILLBy Dave Wielenga
Nearly eight months after 45 students in a Lakewood High School civics began their final year at the school by batting around ideas for a worthwhile senior project, seven of them will spend Wednesday in the state Capitol Building lobbying and testifying in favor of a bill they have proposed.
The Sacramento Seven, they are calling themselves.
“That doesn’t include me,” interjects Wendy Salaya, who teaches the Civics Voice class that has lived up to its name—giving this group of students the real-life experience of taking their concerns to their elected representatives.
In this case, the representative is 55th district Assemblyman Warren Furutani, who responded to a letter from the Lakewood High students by coming to their class, listening to their concerns and offering to sponsor and guide their bill through the legislative process.
Thus it is that Assembly Bill 1174 (AB 1174) will be considered by the Assembly’s Education Committee on Wednesday—and that the Sacramento Seven will take a 7 a.m. flight to the Capitol to spend the morning lobbying for the bill in the offices of the committee’s key members and spend the afternoon testifying before of the entire committee.
AB 1174 proposes to shield minor-aged public school students from being solicited by adults as they come or go to class. It amounts to a slight but potentially significant rewrite of a portion of the state Education Code, extending protections to provide legal recourse against anyone who “willfully disturbs any public school, any public school activity or any public school meeting.” It also includes this definition: “As used in this section, ‘public school activity’ includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the arrival and departure of pupils to and from public school grounds during school hours.”
The Lakewood High seniors say they were motivated by their experiences over the years fending off adults with religious or political agendas who would approach them as they went to and from school. They say it is a violation of their rights because they are legally mandated to attend school thus have no way to avoid such approaches.
The names of the Sacramento Seven: