Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Opportunity and A Call to Action


Did you know that September 17 is Constitution Day? Probably, since that was the date in 1787 on which the document was signed by the framers in Philadelphia. Did you further know that Congress has deemed that September 17-23 of each year be observed as "Constitution Week"? Maybe. But, here's something I didn't know.

In 2004 Congress passed Public Law 108-447 which mandates that all schools receiving federal funds must teach the US Constitution on September 17 of each year. This law also provides that all federal agencies provide their employees with "educational and training materials concerning the US Constitution on September 17 of each year." Here are the pertinent excerpts from the law:
“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 materials concerning the United States Constitution to each employee…on September 17 of each year.”
I think this information presents us with a great opportunity to raise awareness of our great Constitution so I am calling on us each and all to do a few simple and easy things.
  1. Contact your local school,college or university and find out if they receive federal funds and, if so, what their plans are for Constitution Day/Week. (It's possible they won't be aware of this law or of their responsibilities under it. As such, we can serve to enlighten them.)
  2. Contact your local federal agencies, (for most of us in rural Missouri, that will be the Post Office), and ask what they are doing to fulfill their responsibilities under this law. 
  3. Although the law does not make requirements of local governing bodies, I think most mayors and other elected officials would be glad to make a proclamation designating September 17-23 as "Constitution Week" in their community. We can ask that they do that. 
  4. Write letters to the editor, blogs, etc... to help get the word out.
This fits right into MCP's mission to educate on the Constitution. It is an open door inviting us to do just that. In doing these things, we must be respectful and courteous, not demanding or threatening. On the contrary, offer any help we can in carrying this out. If we do that it will create good will toward MCP, which will lead to more opportunities in the future. And more importantly, it will be good for our communities and for America. Let's not let this opportunity pass. Share with the rest of us what you are doing and any creative ideas you have. We don't have a whole lot of time.

Richard Cochran, President
Macon County Patriots
August 16, 2012
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