‘C’ is for Constitution: Our kids don’t know much about America’s founding
…It’s time we start teaching them.
Another school year, another year of protests, “no platforming,” and other affronts to free expression on campus. Should we be surprised? Probably not. A majority of students now believe that “hate speech” – which is not defined under U.S. law and, thus, is subjectively conceived – does not deserve First Amendment protection.
And should we be surprised by that? Almost certainly not. There’s no reason we should expect college students to be able to make sound constitutional arguments when they don’t even know the content of the First Amendment. For more than a third of Americans can’t name a single right guaranteed under it.
You’d have to be living under a rock not to see that our social fabric is unravelling and that even basic civil discourse is becoming increasingly rare. There are a lot of explanations for why. Higher education in particular has come under fire, with childish campus behavior ranging from therapy sessions with Play-Doh, puppies, and coloring books to safe spaces to vandalism as specific bugaboos. But while college campuses have their issues, they are not the primary source of this civic unravelling.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress found in their last polling that only 18 percent of eighth graders performed at or above the “proficient” level in U.S. history. To be a good citizen in a democracy, especially in one as diverse and complex as ours, is to understand the underpinnings of what makes democracy possible. The quantity and quality of civic education in America’s public schools has declined over the past century, but really started to nosedive around the start of the 21st century.
Whether that’s due to heightened cynicism about America’s role in the world, a general increase in moral relativism, or other factors is a different issue. But now that a problem of practice has been diagnosed, specifically the lack of training in the fundamentals of governance, we can do something about it.
Let’s begin as a nation by celebrating Constitution Day. Most Americans have no idea that September 17 is a federal observance, one founded in the early-20th century to mark the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the founding document in Philadelphia. And each educational institution that receives federal funds for a fiscal year is required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students.
Read more at the link below.Attribution: Fox News Network