No talking for teens

Teen drivers under 18 can no longer talk on the phone while driving.

The new wireless law that will go in effect July 1 forbids teens under 18 from talking on the phone regardless if they have a wireless device.

Initial fines are $20 and $50 thereafter. 

Here is a press release from the State Superintendent on the new law:


SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O”Connell and California Highway Patrol Valley Division Chief Stan Perez held a joint news conference today at McClatchy High School to remind teenagers about the new wireless device laws that go into effect next month.

“Technology rules kids’ lives, but it should never take their lives,” said O”Connell. “I want to remind young drivers under 18 years old that starting on July 1 they are forbidden from using their cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. This is not a frivolous law. It is a law that will save limbs and lives because cell phone use is the number one cause of distracted driving accidents in California.”

“New drivers especially need to concentrate solely on driving the vehicle. It is not the time to be dividing your attention with a phone call,” said CHP Chief Stan Perez.

l Senate Bill 33 (Simitian) was signed into law last year banning the use of wireless telephones, pagers, laptops, or any other electronic communication, or mobile service devices to speak or text while driving in any manner by drivers under the age of 18 in California. This ban includes even the use of hands-free devices. A companion measure, Senate Bill 1613 (Simitian), was signed into law in 2006, making it illegal for adult drivers to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving a car in California unless they use a hands-free device. There are exceptions to these laws in emergency situations. Initial fines are $20 and $50 thereafter. New legislation is being proposed to ban adult drivers from text messaging while driving.

“All it takes is one mistake to change a young life forever,” added O”Connell. “I cannot stress enough how important this new law is, to help students stay safe and healthy, so they will be ready to learn when they go back to school.”


Reaction to yearbook slap

This story about a prank in Charter Oak High School’s yearbook has been getting much reaction from the community. Here is what some people wrote in e-mails to me this morning:

“I just read your story a few minutes ago. I’m wondering how I would go about donating money so that the yearbooks can be reprinted. Perhaps other readers would be interested in donating, as well.
As a mother and elementary school teacher, I am absolutely sickened by this horrible incident. This is not a “prank”, but an act of disrespect and hatred. Charter Oak’s administrators need to go the distance in their efforts to right this wrong.”
                                                                                                          Lisa of Sierra Madre
Another reader, Janie, wrote:

“Same thing happened to a page in the South Hills High School Yearbook.  It was on a Parents Senior Dedication Page and someone wrote horrible things to the seniors pictures.

On one photo, the parent wrote “Gorgeous” and someone wrote “Not Gorgeous”…. On the family portrait, the parent wrote “We Love You”… and someone wrote, “We Don’t Love you”.

All the yearbooks were recalled and a huge sticker of the Seniors Dedication Page was placed over top.  Some people ripped the stickers off out of curiosity.  The sticker photo is not clear and parents pay big bucks to do the Senior Dedication Page.

How sad that these few students have to ruin everything.  I think Charter Oak should kick the student out and have the parents pay for damages.”


New principal in Azusa

This just in from Azusa:

The Azusa Unified Board of Education has selected John Steven Coke as the new principal of Azusa High School. Mr. Coke will join the District on July 1.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, he completed his teaching credential at the University of California at Riverside and master’s
at National University in San Diego.

He began teaching in 1987 in the Colton Joint Unified School District. He has also served in
Colton as an assistant principal at the middle school level and principal of the continuation high school. Since 2005, he has been the principal at Colton High School.

District spokeswoman Kathleen Miller said the current principal resigned earlier this year.