A bill guaranteeing high school students the right to wear their military uniform at graduation has been signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Assembly Bill 1463, by Assemblyman Cameron Smyth gives 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.
"I thank and commend Governor Schwarzenegger for signing AB 1463," said Smyth. "This bill represents a bipartisan recognition of the sacrifice that many of our young men and women are making. It's a small but important way to show our appreciation of their service to our country."
The impetus behind AB 1463 was the case of Nicholas Laccabue (pictured above, with his parents), a Saugus High School senior who completed his graduation requirements in December 2008, and completed boot camp at Camp Pendleton in March.
His 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. After KHTS News broke the story of his conflict in February, his cause was quickly picked up by politicians and Santa Clarita residents.
Laccabue wore his dress uniform at his graduation ceremony earlier this spring. Smyth met with Laccabue's mother in February, and expressed his interest in authoring legislation dealing with the issue.
"When Mrs. Laccabue came to me in February, I was honored to carry legislation to address the problem that Nicholas and other students were facing," said Smyth. "I appreciate her help, as well as the support of my colleagues and the Governor. This is good policy, and one of the highlights from an often disappointing legislative session."
AB 1463 was one of six bills carried by Assemblyman Smyth that were signed into law over the weekend. Among the other signed bills was Assembly Bill 110, which allows for the expansion of the Rim of the Valley Trail Corridor to include Elsmere Canyon.