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Hernando, Citrus School Districts Snub GLENN BECK Group's CONSTITUTION Booklets
| Thursday, September 29, 2011
| Tony Marrero
Posted on 10/03/2011 4:31:25 AM PDT by Yosemitest
Hernando, Citrus School Districts Snub Glenn Beck Group's Constitution Booklets
By Tony Marrero, Times Staff Writer,
In Print: Thursday, September 29, 2011
BROOKSVILLE — It started as an act of patriotic philanthropy.
Last month, the Nature Coast 912 Project donated thousands of U.S. Constitution booklets to the Hernando and Citrus school.
The goal was to get a pocket-sized booklet into the hands of every eighth-grader.
The donation, however, prompted officials in both districts to consider:
When does a copy of the Constitution and other historic documents become political material or advertising?
Officials in both districts concluded the booklets have some problematic characteristics,
so they won't be handed out as the 912 Project group had hoped.
"It doesn't matter what group it is," Hernando superintendent Bryan Blavatt said.
"The question is,
are we giving out resources that are primary sources …
or is it subject to opinions and viewpoints and selective choice of materials?"
Hernando received 2,500 booklets for seven schools; Citrus got 1,315 for five schools.
The booklets were not all identical and some came with additional material.
All have a stamp or sticker of the "Nature Coast Pasco-Hernando-Citrus 912 Groups,"
and some included the group's website address, said Mike Mullen, assistant superintendent for Citrus schools.
Some booklets donated to Hernando were published by the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry,
whose website describes its mission as serving communities through "fellowship, compassion, and dedication to God, family and country."
These booklets contained other primary texts such as the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Patrick Henry's Call to Arms.
A foreword to the booklet reads:
"Unless Americans remember and preserve our rich heritage of liberty,
a new Dark Age of tyranny could lock the majority of mankind into the harsh chains of totalitarian slavery."
Some booklets donated to Hernando were accompanied by a one-page sheet from the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank, with the heading "Constitutional Authority."
The sheet asserts that the Constitution has been misinterpreted, leading to "a government that's effectively unlimited … and increasingly unaffordable."
Booklets donated to the Citrus district refers the reader to books published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies,
a conservative, religious-themed organization formed by Mormon political writer Cleon Skousen,
who argued that the founding of the United States was a divine miracle.
One of Skousen's books referenced in the booklet, The 5,000 Year Leap, is often cited by political commentator and 912 Project founder Glenn Beck, who wrote a foreword for a later edition.
"When you add all of those things together, it's not just a simple Constitution," Mullen said.
"You've got to be real careful when you're passing out information to the kids."
The National Center for Constitutional Studies is not a credible source of Constitutional history, said Doug Kendall,
founder and president of the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank and law firm.
"I don't know that there can be too many copies of the Constitution in circulation, but when it comes to teaching about the Constitution,
I think we should trust our teachers and the history books, not the tea party or the 912 Project or any other ideological group," Kendall said.
Citrus school officials plan to return the booklets because the School Board attorney concluded the additional content in them
conflicted with the district policy forbidding the distribution of political materials, Mullen said.
In Hernando, which has a similar policy, principals were told to make the booklets available for students who wanted one
but not to hand them out to every student, Blavatt said.
"It's a way to provide an opportunity for students to get the material, which was the intent of the group,
and not be in a situation where we're handing it to them and not giving them a choice," Blavatt said.
He added: "Ninety-nine percent of the material there is valuable to students.
You have to weigh that."
Blavatt said he did not know how many of the booklets remained.
The districts' decisions puzzled 912 Project members, said organizer Maureen Arrigale of Hudson.
The group reached out to school officials last year with the idea for the donation and submitted booklets for review, Arrigale said.
"The booklets they have are the same booklets we sent them," Arrigale said.
"We're not promoting any kind of agenda or politics whatsoever.
Our name just happens to be on the book."
The Nature Coast 912 group donated money to the East Pasco Tea Party Patriots to purchase Constitution booklets for Pasco County schools this year, Arrigale said.
The Patriots donated Constitutions to the district last year
and officials had no concerns about passing them out, said district spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli.
The booklets had the stamp of the East Pasco Tea Party Patriots, but that in itself is not a problem, Romagnoli said.
"As long as it's not included with any sort of political message," she said.
Mullen acknowledged that staffers had reviewed the booklets
but did not research the National Center for Constitutional Studies publications or the 912 Project until the Times inquired.
He also noted that the booklets reviewed by staff did not have the 912 Group stamp or sticker.
"I know they claim they're not a political group,
but they have direct links from their website that do take you to partisan political websites," Mullen said.
Beck founded the 912 Project in 2009 on nine principles and 12 values he says represent the spirit of the American people on the day after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Among them: "I believe in God and He is the center of my life."
The group is non-partisan, but its conservative membership overlaps with the tea party movement.
Members of the 912 Project and tea party groups lament what they see as a lack of accurate instruction in U.S. history classes.
"What we're out to do is educate people that things in the Bill of Rights
are being taken away from us and are being misconstrued," said Nature Coast 912 member and Hudson resident Annette Weeks.
This past spring, the Tea Party Patriots started a nationwide campaign to remind teachers
that a 2004 federal law requires public schools to teach Constitution lessons the week of Sept. 17, commemorating the day the document was signed.
The Patriots started an adopt-a-school program and members encouraged school officials to use curriculum provided by the National Center for Constitutional Studies.
TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: annetteweeks; bryanblavatt; dougkendall; glennbeck; maureenarrigale; mikemullen; summerromagnoli; tonymarrero
"As long as it's not included with any sort of political message...
While you're awaiting the Command, check out the materials to see if there is, indeed, an additional political message.
posted on 10/03/2011 4:44:05 AM PDT
(The Main Stream Media is Our Enemy---get used to it.)
“I think we should trust our teachers and the history books”
HELL! That’s the problem distribution of the booklets is trying to correct!
It’s just about the same as saying “hi, I’m the government and I’m here to help you.”
posted on 10/03/2011 4:53:49 AM PDT
(Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
Do you suppose they would accept and distribute copies of the Constitution if they had no additional material attached?? I doubt it.
posted on 10/03/2011 4:58:20 AM PDT
(AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
Of course all of the overtly political leftist messages handed down from the NEA are okay.
posted on 10/03/2011 5:09:42 AM PDT
by Art in Idaho
(Conservatism is the only hope for Western Civilization.)
I wonder if they think the textbooks have no “political message”.
There’s no way you present the Constitution without framing it in some kind of worldview. This particular case is ensuring that the political view of the academia is the only view the kids get.
The same thing holds true for “positive tolerance” policies, sex ed, etc. The only way to exclude every political view is to limit the content that is addressed by the schools - which would require AT LEAST getting rid of social studies altogether (including all branches of history, government, geography, and psychology), some health and science, and all the multi-cultural and diversity stuff.
This is why the whole idea of government-run and -funded public schools was taboo in the early days of our history; government-run indoctrination is very close to the “establishment of religion”.
I used to have several reproductions of historical American documents (Declaration of Independence, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, etc) on parchment like paper. One had a little red tassel attached. They also had advertizing around the periphery (a gasoline service station, as I recall).
We've all heard the horror stories of the liberal propaganda is in the textbooks. Fox News ran an expose special hosted by Tucker Carlson a couple years back.
The fact of the matter is that the schools have been taken over by the progressives, and as always happens when the progressives control something, the schools are failing. We throw money at it (where it goes would be an interesting discovery) yet the quality of education is in free-fall in the USofA compared to other nations that spend a fraction of what we spend.
To these Florida school administrators the Constitution is like a cross to Dracula.
Check out The Cartel a 92 minute documentary free on line. (H/T to FReeper big bad easter bunny) and "Waiting for Superman".
Something has to be done to reverse the failure of the American education system, and it begins by eliminating the progressive control.
posted on 10/03/2011 7:02:49 AM PDT
(If it's "green" ... it's crap !!!)
Hernando School Board Member, John Sweeney - checking in.
Our county is in fact, very patriotic. Per Florida Statute, every day during the last week of September, the students recite the following; We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. In addition, I visited our schools and personally handed the booklet containing the Constitution, Declaration, Gettysburg address... to many appreciative students, parents, and teachers. As long as I am a School Board member, our founding documents will see the light of day.
posted on 10/03/2011 12:40:38 PM PDT
(Founding Documents See the Light of Day)
You might be interested in this. Just click on it.
posted on 10/03/2011 6:10:47 PM PDT
(It's simple: Fight or Die)
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