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Senate Votes to Repeal Law Barring Cell Phones in School

April 09, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — The Senate voted 38-1 without debate Monday to repeal a 14-year-old law that prohibits children from taking cell phones and pagers to school.

The bill, sponsored by government class students at Woodbridge High in Irvine and James Logan High in Union City, would allow local school boards to decide whether the electronic communicators should be allowed on campus and used during school hours.

Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), the bill's author, said there is general agreement that use of a personal cell phone may make the difference between life and death during an emergency, such as the fatal shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado.

The bill, which now goes to the Assembly, would repeal a 1988 state prohibition against bringing cell phones and other communication devices to school. At the time, it was aimed mostly at preventing illegal drug deals that were conducted with the use of pagers.

The bill (SB 1253) contains an unusual disclaimer saying it is "not the intent of the Legislature to encourage pupils to use electronic signaling devices at school."

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