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Bill to allow military uniforms at graduation passes key committee

Posted: April 29, 2009 6:36 p.m.
Updated: April 30, 2009 6:33 p.m.

SACRAMENTO - Assembly Bill 1463, introduced by Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, passed out of the Assembly Education Committee today by a vote of 8-0.

If passed by the full Assembly, the bill would give students who have completed military boot camp training, as well as all of their high school graduation requirements, the right to wear their military dress uniforms at high school graduations.

"Today's vote was an important one," Smyth said. "Getting out of the first policy committee is one of the most important hurdles to clear for any bill. I'm glad that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle were willing to come together and recognize the commitment that these young men and women have made to our nation and our community."

The idea for AB 1463 came from the case of Nicholas Laccabue, a Saugus High School senior who completed his graduation requirements in December, and recently completed boot camp at Camp Pendleton.

Laccabue's request to wear his dress uniform was initially denied, but ultimately granted after the principal and the Hart School District reversed their positions on the matter.

Smyth met with Laccabue's mother in February, and expressed his interest in authoring legislation dealing with the issue.

"I felt that it was important to give students and school districts some clarification about this issue, so that other students in this situation will be treated with fairness throughout California," Smyth said. "I appreciate Private Laccabue's commitment to his country and his school, and I want to thank him and his family for raising awareness of this issue."

AB 1463 now moves to the Assembly Floor, where it will be heard in the coming weeks.


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