California Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced proponents of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for their measure:
REQUIRES PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO OFFER CHRISTMAS MUSIC. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Requires public schools to offer an opportunity for students to listen to or perform Christmas music during the holiday season. Requires schools to notify students’ parents or guardians twenty-one days before the music will be played or performed so that students can opt-out of listening to or performing the music. Provides that a civil lawsuit may be brought to enforce these requirements. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Probably minor annual costs to school districts. (09-0030.)
I see the cover letter for the initiative says it’s “allowing for Christmas music in the public schools,” and the new section of state law the measure seeks to enact would be entitled, “Freedom to Present Christmas Music in Public School Classrooms or Assemblies.”
But the measure’s actual language clearly states “shall provide opportunities to its pupils for listening to or performing Christmas music at an appropriate time of year.” (Emphasis added.)
That’s “shall” as in, “I’ll be able to sue you if you don’t.”
Proponents Merry Susan Hyatt – the cover letter says she “moved to Redding but I will keep my registration in Riverside County,” a neat trick – and David Joseph Hyatt – Merry’s brother, in Shasta County – must collect valid signatures from at least 433,971 registered voters by March 29 in order to qualify their measure for the November 2010 ballot.