Archive for Monday, August 12, 2013

Celebrate Freedom Week’ regulations proposed

August 12, 2013


The Kansas State Board of Education is being asked to develop regulations to implement the "Celebrate Freedom Week" bill that Kansas lawmakers passed this year.

That law designates the week of Sept. 17, or any other week determined by local school boards, as "Celebrate Freedom Week" and requires schools to give instruction to students in kindergarten through eighth grade about the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.

Although current state standards already require schools to teach those subjects, the new law adds a requirement that, "religious references in the writings of the founding fathers shall not be censored when presented as part of such instruction."

That bill was modeled after similar laws enacted in Texas and other states.

The draft regulation being considered by the state board would make compliance with the law a condition for schools to be accredited by the state.

The state board meets Tuesday and Wednesday at the Department of Education building in Topeka.

If approved, the draft regulation would then have to be reviewed by the Kansas Attorney General's office and the Department of Administration. Once they approve, the state board would then schedule a public hearing before voting to formally adopt the regulation.

The law requires the state board to adopt the regulation by Dec. 31.

In other business, the state board will:

• Act on recommendations of the Professional Practices Commission regarding the licenses of several current and prospective educators.

• Review policies about the collection and dissemination of personally identifiable information and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.

• Hear an update on plans for statewide assessments for 2014 and beyond.

• Receive an update on career and technical education programs in the state.

• Discuss the status of the state's waiver from provisions of the No Child Left Behind law.

• Discuss possible policy recommendations for the 2014 legislative session.

• Hear a report on emergency safety interventions.

• Consider paying $24,985 for membership dues in the National Association of State Boards of Education.


John Kyle 4 years, 10 months ago

"the new law adds a requirement that, "religious references in the writings of the founding fathers shall not be censored when presented as part of such instruction.""

I assume that includes their atheist writings also.

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

I would like them to name one time that these have ever been censored. It's kind of like all those illegal immigrant voters running around out there. It only exists in their strange little reality bubble. (Cue Twilight Zone music)

skull 4 years, 10 months ago

Another job creation bill from your Kansas legislature...

question4u 4 years, 10 months ago

Were these the writings that the legislature had in mind?

"When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ‘tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."

-Benjamin Franklin, letter to Richard Price. October 9, 1790.

"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear."

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

"As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?"

-John Adams, letter to FA Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

jafs 4 years, 10 months ago

I certainly hope that this isn't the only time students are learning about these things - and why would we even need a special week to teach them about them?

Wouldn't it be better to teach ongoing classes about our founding documents throughout the year?

Michael LoBurgio 4 years, 10 months ago

The Founding Fathers Were Not Christians

"The Christian right is trying to rewrite the history of the United States as part of its campaign to force its religion on others. They try to depict the founding fathers as pious Christians who wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, with laws that favored Christians and Christianity.

This is patently untrue. The early presidents and patriots were generally Deists or Unitarians, believing in some form of impersonal Providence but rejecting the divinity of Jesus and the absurdities of the Old and New testaments.

Thomas Paine was a pamphleteer whose manifestos encouraged the faltering spirits of the country and aided materially in winning the war of Independence: I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of...Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all." From: The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, pp. 8,9 (Republished 1984, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY)

George Washington, the first president of the United States, never declared himself a Christian according to contemporary reports or in any of his voluminous correspondence. Washington Championed the cause of freedom from religious intolerance and compulsion. When John Murray (a universalist who denied the existence of hell) was invited to become an army chaplain, the other chaplains petitioned Washington for his dismissal. Instead, Washington gave him the appointment. On his deathbed, Washinton uttered no words of a religious nature and did not call for a clergyman to be in attendance. From: George Washington and Religion by Paul F. Boller Jr., pp. 16, 87, 88, 108, 113, 121, 127 (1963, Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas, TX)

Seth Peterson 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm not sure if you can claim or use an argument from 'embraced heritage' for a group of individuals famous from a revolution. They were quite fed up with the way things were being done (granted, mostly in a financial sense) and wanted change.

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

And yet the Bible was full of slaves and royalty. I don't see much of anything in the Bible that seems to relate to democracy, and I have read it cover to cover. Of course, I read it without a preacher present to "interpret" it to me.

jafs 4 years, 10 months ago

Generally agreed, but Jefferson did at times describe himself as a Christian, along with many other descriptions.

absolutelyridiculous 4 years, 10 months ago

That fact that we are trying to pass regulations on "Celebrate Freedom Week" makes me laugh hysterically. The irony.

Hooligan_016 4 years, 10 months ago

haha, I was just about to post the same thing, beat me to it :)

Mike Ford 4 years, 10 months ago

Many of these historic colonists were running from the government sanctioned Anglican Church in England and it's alignment with the British Monarchy which makes most of these conservative assertions laughable. Please quit to trying to rewrite history unless you want the uncensored version of history where the puritans celebrated the massacre of Wampanoag and Pequot Indians with Thanksgiving or the brutal massacre of Christianized Moravian Algonquian Indians at Gnadenhutten by a settler militia who couldn't find the Shawnee and Wyandot warriors attacking them so they beat pacifist Christianized Indians to death instead in March 1782. The rest of the world laughs at American mythology.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

current state standards already require schools to teach those subjects, the new law adds a requirement that, "religious references in the writings of the founding fathers shall not be censored when presented as part of such instruction."

---many of the above comments exemplify why such a law is necessary. Tomatogrower purposely blurs the meaning of "slavery" as in the Bible ... was not the same as "man stealers" of the southern states' history slavery. in the Bible, we'd properly understand its "slavery" today as "indentured servitude" instead.

most of the colonies were settled by believers who wished to worship free of the anglican Church and its state run religion in britain. just name: puritans, methodists, quakers, and Roger Williams.

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

And that's why we don't want a state run religion. Christianity is not the only religion in this country. Our ancestors would be happy to be a haven for those of other religions who have come here to for the freedom of religion. Making laws against abortion or gay marriage is against what they stood for. That is imposing their religious beliefs on others. Just because Christians think that sex is only for procreation, other religions do not think so. Other religions think that a human doesn't get their soul until birth or a ceremony after birth, so abortion isn't killing. Some religions have no problem with people enjoying sex without procreation. Just because Christians think this way does not give them the right to legislate it, not if we are going to keep from having a state run religion which many of our founders were trying to avoid.

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