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Story Archives: Battling Constitution ignorance on the home front
|Battling Constitution ignorance on the home front|
There is an axiom about not being able to fix stupid, but you might have at least a shot at fixing ignorance.
With the hope that we are not mired too deeply in the former and stand a chance of shoring up the latter, Winnsboro businessman Kelly Martin—An American Patriot Tea Party member—is working to educate school children in Franklin Parish about the U.S. Constitution.
It's law that children who are educated in public institutions be taught the Constitution, a fact of which I, until recently, was ignorant.
If I did know it —it sounds vaguely familiar—I had forgotten that I knew it.
That's not surprising, because many who are charged with educating our kids don't know it either and many schools don't do it.
This —as the late Paul Harvey would say—is the rest of the story:
To commemorate the Sept. 17, 1787 signing of the Constitution, Congress has designated Sept. 17 as Constitution Day and Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week.
In 2004, Public Law 108-447, Section 111 was passed, which states "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...each federal agency or department shall provide educational and training material concerning the United States Constitution to each employee on September 17 of each year."
Most who are reading this are woefully aware of how little attention is given in society and in our educational institutions to our founding documents and history.
To remedy this malignant mental malaise—at least here in Franklin Parish—Kelly recently presented educational material to the school board that includes a movie and study guide.
The movie, titled "A More Perfect Union" is a dramatization of the creation of the Constitution by our Founding Fathers that was commissioned by the United States Constitutional Commission and first released in 1976.
As I side note, I have often wondered why there aren't more movies made about the founding of our nation — a riveting story filled with excitement, emotion and plot twist far superior than the multiple movie versions of mediocre television shows that seem to dominate the silver screen these days.
I haven't seen the movie that Kelly is promoting, but I hope to be able to see it soon.
The National Center for Constitutional Studies has produced an educational program based on the movie specially designed to meet the requirements of the aforementioned federal law.
It is available in formats designed to teach students ranging from kindergarten to high school seniors.
To give Franklin Parish's school children an entertaining, uniformed way to learn about the Constitution, the school board has adopted the material that Kelly presented.
There is one little problem —money, or rather the lack of it.
So far, Kelly has been paying for the programs out of his own pocket and that's not right.
To provide educational material for a classroom costs just $20.
This is a worthy cause and Kelly should be supported in his efforts.
To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, if a nation expects to remain ignorant and free, it is expecting something that never was and never will be.
If you would like to donate money to help provide Constitution study material to Franklin Parish school students, you can do so by calling Kelly at 435-4581