Citing Health Concerns, Assembly Committee Passes Bill to Limit Weight of Textbooks
The Assembly Education Committee voted 8-1 Wednesday in favor of a bill (AB 2532) that would establish weight standards for school textbooks to help reduce the strain of backpacks on students, the AP/New York Times reports (AP/New York Times, 4/24). The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Rod Pacheco (R-Riverside) and Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Daly City), would also require the Board of Education to study other proposals to reduce the weight of backpacks, such as offering textbooks on CD or providing students with an additional set of textbooks to keep at home Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, 4/24). The California Medical Association and the California Physical Therapy Association support the legislation. The groups said that an increased number of children have collar bones with "abnormal growth patterns" as a result of strain from backpacks. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 5,000 U.S. students each year receive emergency room treatment for backpack-related injuries (Associated Press, 4/24). Assembly member Dario Frommer (D-Los Angeles) said that the problem of backpack strain has increased in some schools that have removed lockers over concerns that students may use them to store weapons or illegal drugs (Frith, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/23). The bill would recommend a study on a proposal to install lockers with transparent doors (Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, 4/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.