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'Celebrate Freedom Week' approved by House

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The Kansas House on Friday approved a bill that will require public schools to have a "Celebrate Freedom Week" every year in mid-September.

Supporters said it would help students learn more about the early history of the United States and founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

"I think it's time we got involved in celebrating patriotism," said state Rep. John Bradford, R-Lansing, who said he felt that children were not getting enough instruction on U.S. history.

But opponents of House Bill 2280 said schools were already teaching American history and that mandating a specific period for the instruction could mess up teachers' class schedules.

"How ironic that we have a bill with freedom in the name that is one more mandate on local government," said state Rep. Don Hineman, R-Dighton.

State Rep. Ward Cassidy, R-St. Francis, said he liked the idea of a "Celebrate Freedom Week," but opposed mandating schools to have it. "I don't think every time we come up with a great idea we should force schools to do that great idea," he said.

The measure was approved 95-25 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

In addition to studying the "original intent, meaning and importance" of the nation's early documents, the bill says, "The religious references in the writings of the founding fathers shall not be censored when presented as part of such instruction."

Comments

Hooligan_016 1 year, 9 months ago

So do they get to dictate the materials of "Freedom Week" as well? Does anyone else remember the Futurama episode that sounds eerily similar to this? BRB gonna go eat a flag like Zoidberg now.

Also "celebrate patriotism"? It has such a hollow meaning. How about actually teaching kids how to be engaged in their communities and working with their fellow citizens and staying involved in local decisions. Oh wait ... that's not what our Legislature wants ... critical thinking.

Liberty275 1 year, 9 months ago

That bugged me too. Every American should be free (discounting criminals) but only those that are so inclined need to be patriots.

OTOH, I don't see a problem setting aside some time to focus more on US history.

Catalano 1 year, 9 months ago

I thought the State Board of Education makes decisions like this?

Greg Cooper 1 year, 9 months ago

Egad, even Texas is sounding better day by day.

MarcoPogo 1 year, 9 months ago

Freedom's waaaaaitinnnnnggg at your 7-11...

question4u 1 year, 9 months ago

Teaching Kansas students about the U. S. Constitution would not be a bad idea. Maybe future generations of Kansas lawmakers won't waste so much time on bills that are obviously unconstitutional. Clearly the current group of legislators would have benefited from more K-12 education in a lot of areas: medicine, history, biology, physics, philosophy (specifically ethics), etc., etc.

It's hugely ironic to force students to hold a "freedom" week, but it's even more ironic that perhaps the least intelligent Legislature that Kansas has ever had is taking upon itself the dictation of school curricula.

jerseygirl 1 year, 9 months ago

Since 2005, all public schools, including those in Kansas, have been required by Federal law to teach about the Constitution on September 17, the anniversary of its ratification. Senator Robert Byrd pushed for this and we've been doing it ever since. In fact, in my school, we do take the entire week. How difficult would it have been for the Legislature to discover that this law was already on the books?

buffalo63 1 year, 9 months ago

But that Law was stepping on States Rights. We need to make sure teachers follow Kansas Law. (sarcasm)

geekin_topekan 1 year, 9 months ago

"The religious references in the writings of the founding fathers shall not be censored when presented as part of such instruction."

+++++

Oh boy. I see Kansas is going to re-write the founding documents and force teachers to insert Jesus Christ instead of the God of Reason. Instead of "endowed by their creator" it will be taught as "Endowed by christ." Lessee, if a religious terror group were to recruit suicide bombers I would assume that targeting children would be essential to building an army. I see where this is going. Is Blowsalot modeling his Kansas fundamentalism after al qaeda? Show me evidence that shows where he doesn't, then add "yet".

How did we get to this nightmare?

Larry Sturm 1 year, 9 months ago

This from a legislature that wants to take away all of our freedoms.

Larry Sturm 1 year, 9 months ago

This from a legislature that wants to take away all of our freedoms. Watch out for the next round of freedom they want to take away.

Katara 1 year, 9 months ago

I prefer "Learn How Your Government Works" week but that seems to be beyond the current legislators abilities.

buffalo63 1 year, 9 months ago

How many jobs does this create? I thought this was the major thrust of this Governor - to create jobs!

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