Students address lack of support for Safe Rides

Discussion about underage drinking and the social host ordinance brought to light another issue at Tuesday's City Council meeting — the lack of support from the Laguna Beach School District for the Safe Rides program.

Safe Rides gives students a ride home for free with a designated driver. They simply call a number, which they can find on keychains, and a volunteer will pick them up.

Students who spoke during the meeting told the council that the school district doesn't allow advertising of Safe Rides at Laguna Beach High School because, as they were told, it would condone teen drinking.

Adam Redding-Kaufman, who graduated from the high school this year, said he spoke to Safe Rides volunteers who said the program is only known through word of mouth. Another student mentioned a Facebook page.

"We're not allowed to have a club or advertise it at the school," said Kimmie Hackney, 18. "Not that many people know about it actually."

Supt. Sherine Smith said that students can find out about Safe Rides on the Internet and didn't see it as an issue. She said students should always call a designated driver — whether it be a sober friend, Safe Rides or a parent.

Mayor Egly asked if the school could put up posters and pass out pencils to promote the service.

Smith said she would. Principal Joanne Culverhouse stood up during the meeting and nodded in agreement with Egly's request.

Safe Rides Laguna Beach can be contacted at (949) 499-7522. It runs from 10 p.m. Saturday to 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Email if you're interested in volunteering.

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