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The LegiSchool Project

LegiSchool Town Hall Meetings

California's Changing Tobacco Laws
December 9, 2016

This year, new tobacco regulations went into effect that drastically change the laws about smoking in our state. California became the second state in the country to increase the smoking age from 18 to 21. In addition, many laws that apply to regular cigarettes will now apply to e-cigarettes. One of the most important responsibilities of the government is to protect citizen’s rights and freedoms. When it comes to regulating smoking among young adults, the government must weigh many issues, from the rights of a young adult at 18 to make choices, to the desire of the general non-smoking public to have smoke-free environments, to the health costs associated with smoking. In addition, they must consider whether new products, like e-cigarettes, should be treated the same as other tobacco products. When it comes to smoking in California – we want to know what you think. Has society and government gone too far or not far enough? Should smoking be a personal choice or one that is determined by a government-imposed age restriction? If you have the right to marry, vote, join the military, or take on debt to pay for your college education, should you also have the right to smoke? And should e-cigarettes be regulated like traditional cigarettes? You decide!

Driverless Cars: Who Will Write the Rules
February 8, 2017

The technology surrounding cars is changing at a rapid pace. What once seemed only possible in science fiction might be hitting the road sooner than you think. Several companies including Google, Ford and Tesla, have developed cars that drive themselves, and are intent on rolling them out for use within the next several years. While some automated cars may still have drivers present to take control when necessary, others are designed to be completely driverless, with no steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal.  Cars like this may fundamentally change how we travel in the future, but they also create social and legal questions. For example, if a self-driving car hits a pedestrian, who is to blame? What laws will apply? What are the safety standards? Will they still require a "driver"? Will a driver’s license be needed to operate the vehicle? Will our roads, stoplights and parking spaces also need to change? Although California recently passed a law that allows self-driving cars on public roads, many of these other questions have yet to be answered.  New car technology will require the rules of the road to change. So, who will write the rules? And what should they say? LegiSchool wants to hear your thoughts!

Past Curriculum Guides

Want to bring current events into your classroom? Use curriculum guides from our recent Town Hall Meetings to prompt your students to think critically about timely, relevant topics.

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