TEACH CITIZENSHIP IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
By Hans Zeiger
Today, moral and political duties are secondary concerns in most public schools, and religious duties are considered either obsolete or dangerous. Religion in school is a debate unto itself, but moral and political education deserves a serious discussion. Both morality and politics are grounded in certain absolutes. When it comes to mor- ality, a student should know it is immoral to cheat on a test or lie to a teacher. On the subject of politics, high-school graduates should be aware, at minimum, that rights come from God, that government is vested in the people, and that political liberty requires political responsibility.
In Kennewick, Washington, a citizen activist named Monte Benham discovered that too many high-school graduates are oblivious to the key tenets of citizenship that are derived from such documents as the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independ- ence, the Bill of Rights, and the Washington State Constitution.
So Benham launched Initiative 285 in April to require all public schools in the state to teach portions of our founding documents.
I-285 requires the teaching of those phrases that concern the philosophical under- pinnings of America. An example of such phrases is the statement in the Declaration of Independence identifying the source of rights: "All men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
And how many high-school graduates around America are aware that their state even has a constitution?
Article 1 of the Washington State Constitution says: "All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the gov- erned, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights." The consistent messages of America's great leaders and texts are inescapable in our history. All fifty state constitutions recognize God as the source of rights, and individuals as the agent of rights.
I-285 requires the teaching of state and national founding documents in such a way that they are linked to one another and to the documents' historical context as well as other creeds and codes, such as the Mayflower Compact, the Pledge of Allegiance, George Washington's Farewell Address, and the Gettysburg Address.
High school students should receive instruction that provides them with knowledge and understanding of the role of rights and responsibilities, the purpose of govern- ment, the idea of freedom, and its contrasts in tyranny and slavery. These are the core understandings that are necessary to good citizenship.
No doubt the truths I've just named would anger those whose political beliefs lean Leftward. So, I don't think it's too early to predict that the radical Left in the State of Washington will do all it can to keep Initiative 285 from passing.
On most days, the Left says that it supports the Constitution because it grants them the ability to speak out against such things as firearms, limited government, and God. These same Leftists would prefer that the moral majority be left clueless about the existence of the Second Amendment, the Tenth Amendment, and the statement of rights in the Declaration.
When I-285 passes, the Leftists might do all they can to see that the initiative is struck down in court, as they have done with a number of other recent citizen initia- tives in the State of Washington. The problem is that I can't quite imagine what's unconstitutional about teaching the Constitution.
A Practical Guide to Homeschooling
Hans Zeiger, age 18, is an activist and columnist. He is President of the Scout Honor Coalition and Chairman of Washington
Young Americans for Freedom. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * Foreign Policy, U.S.
France * Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control
POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS
POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE
Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor