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January 29, 2002

Big backpacks: Teens tackle issue at State Capitol meeting

High school students from throughout the state will meet with state and local leaders to take on the issue of backpack overload, from 1 to 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 31 in the State Capitol room 126.

Increasingly heavy backpacks have spurned concern about possible health risks. Last year, Gov. Gray Davis vetoed AB 1030, which would have commissioned a study on the health risks of big backpacks. The study also would have examined locker space issues and alternatives to heavy textbooks.

The town hall meeting is sponsored by the LegiSchool Project at California State University, Sacramento.

High school panelists and audience participants will include students from Hiram Johnson and Rio Americano High Schools in Sacramento, and San Marino High School in Southern California. Thousands of other students will view the meeting on the California Channel or on videotape.

Legislative panelists will include the author of AB 1030, Rod Pacheco (R-Riverside). Sacramento City Unified School District board member Manny Hernandez and a representative from the Attorney General's office are also scheduled to participate. CSUS education professor Paula Gardner will moderate.

The LegiSchool Project is an award-winning civic education project of CSUS and the State Legislature, administered by the Center for California Studies. The project's mission is to engage young people in public policy and state government.

More information is available by contacting LegiSchool at (916) 278-6906 or by visiting www.csus.edu/calst/legischool.htm. Media assistance is available by contacting CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.


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