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Brownback signs 'Celebrate Freedom Week' bill


Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Thursday that establishes "Celebrate Freedom Week" during the week of Sept. 17 and requires schools to teach students about the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence in grades K-8 each year during that week.

The Sept. 17 date marks the anniversary of the day in 1787 when the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia adopted the U.S. Constitution. It officially went into effect March 4, 1789, after it was ratified by 11 states.

House Bill 2261 is similar to laws already enacted in Oklahoma, Texas and some other states, including the requirement that, "The religious references in the writings of the founding fathers shall not be censored when presented as part of such instruction."

The bill also requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules and regulations spelling out the curriculum to be taught during that week.

The Celebrate Freedom Week language was added onto a bill that expands the ability of school districts to transfer unencumbered cash balances among various funds. It also amends current law related to school districts' bullying policies to include staff members.


msezdsit 4 years, 6 months ago

Oh the hyperbole. Brownback and freedom week.

question4u 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, let's celebrate freedom by imposing requirements on schools. The last thing that the dumbest Kansas Legislature of all time should be doing is meddling in education, but if they're going to do it can't they at least do it without being hypocrites? Some of these legislators are the same dim bulbs that are arguing against the Common Core because it's supposedly a product of "government bureaucrats in Washington." Apparently mandates from government bureaucrats in Topeka are OK though.

It will certainly be interesting for school children to learn that Jefferson was concerned with freedom from religious authority. In order to understand the "religious references in the writings" the kids can learn about the Jefferson Bible, in which Jefferson edited out the supernatural parts and everything that he considered to be religious dogma.

And don't forget to discuss the freedom of African Americans as it's celebrated in those writings of the founding fathers...Oops! Never mind.

Mike Ford 4 years, 6 months ago

distract the simpletons week right???

Biscayne 4 years, 6 months ago

This is great, i'm so thankful we have Gov Brownback.

chootspa 4 years, 6 months ago

If I recall from last year, the schools said that they * already* taught those things and didn't appreciate having their curriculum moved around and tampered with by people that didn't know what they were talking about. I could be paraphrasing.

Glenn Reed 4 years, 6 months ago

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

I certainly hope this is done. Many of the founding fathers had interesting things to say about religion.

Alyosha 4 years, 6 months ago

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

Let's see the full panoply of what the Founders believed about religion taught in public schools, then, too.

For instance: the fact that there is no mention of Christianity, or the Christian god, or Jesus, in any of the founding documents of our country.

Or, from Founding Father and author of the Declaration of Independence, President Jefferson alone:

"Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." —Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

(The common law is what U.S. law is based upon.)

"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity." —Notes on Virginia, 1782

"Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination." —Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes." —Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

"Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being."

—Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, April 13, 1820

Or are Kansans too afraid to confront the reality of what the Founders thought?

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 6 months ago

They were referring to The Supreme Being or Power that Christians Claim as THEIR God Exclusively. Our Founding fathers were trying to include ALL Religions as part of this Document. As It Should Be. All Are Welcome here.

Alyosha 4 years, 6 months ago

You prove my point. They were referring to exactly what they wrote and what they meant, not to something they did not write or mean.

Why do you suppose they actually meant something else (simply the "God" of the Christians) other than what they wrote?

If they intended to mean simply "God," they would have simply written "God."

They did not.

The onus is on you to determine exactly what was meant by "Nature's God," "their Creator," etc.

I suggest you begin by studying up on Deism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

See? It is good to be taught what the Founders' views on religion were. Knowledge clears away ignorance and beliefs unsupported by facts.

oldbaldguy 4 years, 6 months ago

see what andrew jackson thought about all this. i recommend reading amercian lion.

grandnanny 4 years, 6 months ago

So less than a month into school, my granddaughter in kindergarten has to stop learning how to read and write so that she can be taught about the constitution. I can hardly wait to hear her interpretation of this lesson. Hopefully, she will learn that all men (and women) are created equal. I wonder if they will teach her about how black people were counted as 3/5 of a person. She won't get it because she doesn't understand fractions or slavery.

Mike Ford 4 years, 6 months ago

the conservative circus employees on here need to know that this information was taught way back in the 1980's when I graduated from high school. the fun part I have now is mentioning the commerce clause and it's mention of Indian tribes and the congressional power over tribes, states, and foreign nations, when clowns like antonin scalia ignore the Native American equasion of the US Constitution repeatedly in SCOTUS court cases involving tribes. maybe the conservative circus employees need a refresher on the US Constitution and Indian Tribes because they seem to ignore and rewrite history much to joy of simpletons and brownback supporters.

usesomesense 4 years, 6 months ago

At least we're getting one thing that makes sense with it - " It also amends current law related to school districts' bullying policies to include staff members."

oldexbeat 4 years, 6 months ago

One week that Brownback believes in marriage equality, pro-choice, women's rights to their own bodies, separation of church and state, gay rights, etc. Right ? Isn't that what they will teach in the schools. Abortion is legal. Gay marriage is legal in many states. There is no Christian reference in the US Constitution -- in fact, the only religious point is that NO Religion is required to run for office in the USA. Not at all.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

"There is no Christian reference in the US Constitution"

Nor is abortion mentioned.

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