Kids may lack patriotism
February 29, 2008
Whether they like it or not history students in Utah could be forced to read the U.S. Constitution.
Senate Bill 190, sponsored by Allen Christensen, a North Ogden Republican who represents much of eastern Summit County, would require the document be displayed in public-school classrooms for grades four through 12.
The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and would require classrooms in Utah also display American flags.
The House is now considering SB 190.
"If you take a position of opposition then it makes you sound like you are un-American," said Ray Timothy, superintendent for the Park City School District. "Why do we always legislate the solutions? Let’s not always assume there is a problem."
Teachers must instruct students about the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, pledge of allegiance, national anthem, Mayflower Compact and documents from America’s Colonial, Revolutionary, Federalist and post-Federalist eras, according to curriculum approved by the state Board of Education.
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"We already have flags in our classrooms," Timothy said in a telephone interview Thursday.
He added that students in early grades must recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily.
"Why not raise the level of discussion and see if we are negligent in dealing with that in our curriculum?" Timothy asked. "I’m not conceding that at all."
By securing money from private donors Christensen hopes schools can fund the cost to display the items on their own.