May 26, 2005

A Future Court Battle - Constitution Day and Citizenship Day

I am sure it will not take too long for this to end up in court. Did you know the public school system is now required to teach about the Consititution. Personally I think it is a sad testimony to the state of our education system that the government felt compelled to make it mandatory to teach about the Constitution, wouldn't that be something you expect to be covered (oh wait it is not loaded with PCisms so it is not quite as important). From a news article today:

"The Education Department outlined Tuesday how it plans to enforce a little-known provision that Congress passed in 2004: Every school and college that receives federal money must teach about the Constitution on September 17, the day the document was adopted in 1787.

Schools can determine what kind of educational program they want, but they must hold one every year on the now-named "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day." And if September 17 falls on a weekend or holiday, schools must schedule a program immediately before or after that date."

I am sure this will land in court soon enough as someone will claim that it violates the 10th amendment, what our courts will do with it will be another question entirely.

The intention of this law seems good, to ensure that our children are taught the foundation of our government. Yet it is troublesome that it is a decree coming fromt he federal government stating that a certain subject must be taught on a certain day, what will be the next government mandate, it sets a precedent that I'm not sure we want replicated. The government response to this is that they are giving the schools "freedom" to teach the subject however they wish - the school decides on the program. This seems to contradict the point of ensuring that students all learn about the constitution as there is no provision that says you need to teach the constitution even in a positive way, much less educate the kids about the specefics. Mentioning the Constitution as a document and focusing on the many politically correct ways to be citizens will cover the subject under the new federal guidelines.

Dangerous precedent for little tangible rewards. Sad that the government even feels compelled that it is a neccessity. Just another reason WWHS, some homeschoolers will be required to follow this law as well - especially the state funded charter schools that call themselves homeschools, as the law states " Every school and college that receives federal money"

Dig deeper and consider the implications. At first glance it may seem positive that the government wants to encourage better informed citizens - but in reality it belies many other truths and provides a cover for some of the true issues.

Read more about the topican easy read news story, some of the legalese, and for the true researcher text of Appropriations Public Law 108-447 where the law is found. You are looking for section 111b and it states:

"(b) Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a
fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States
Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution."

In case you don't have a personal copy handy - here is the THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.



  1. Tenn,

    That is just scary. It brings to mind images of the Soviet Union and communist bloc countries of 20 years ago having large scale, government-planned, and mandatory celebrations for their government.

    I don't think it is so horrible to ask that students learn something about our government and the constitution, even every year. But to schedule a 'day of celebration!'

    That is a good thing to be aware of. Thanks!

    Amy in Apex

  2. At this point, the vision is so myopic and distorted that any attempts to rectify the "problems" will not result in the return of vision. It's like giving someone with cataracts a blindfold and promising to lead them wherever they need to go.

    Sadly, this is yet another reason WWHS, as well.