For Immediate Release
December 11, 2013
Contact: Jennifer Murray
LANSING, Mich.— Today a set of three bills introduced by Sen. Patrick Colbeck to promote good citizenship passed the Michigan Senate with bipartisan support. These bills encourage instruction of students on America’s actual founding documents rather than what third parties say is in the founding documents.
“These bills are designed to help our students understand the unique system of government we have in America and to develop a greater appreciation for our nation and its heritage,” said Colbeck, R-Canton. “The legislation seeks to give teachers additional tools with which they can ensure that core principles of our government as captured in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Michigan Constitution are embedded within our requirements for instruction. This is important as the principles taught today will be the principles used to govern in the future.”
The first bill, Senate Bill 423 is also referred to as the Good Citizenship bill. It includes language to ensure that K through 12 social studies instruction is centered upon the founding principles of the United States including Federalism, the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Michigan’s Constitution. The bill ensures that at least information regarding the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States is tested on the Michigan Assessment Test.
The second bill, SB 120, is an anti-censorship bill that is intended to protect teachers when founding documents are presented to students as part of instruction in an unabridged fashion. The design of this bill is to empower teachers to incorporate documents like the Mayflower Compact and the Gettysburg Address into their instruction without fear of adverse ramifications.
SB 121 would provide schools with a framework for observation and encourage schools to observe Patriot Week. The purpose of Patriot Week is to promote an understanding of American history and America’s first principles, particularly those principles captured in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The bill also would encourage schools to regularly honor the sacrifices of our veterans and those who currently serve in the Armed Forces to protect these principles.
“Our nation has a proud heritage. The principles upon which we were founded have resulted in America becoming the most prosperous and most generous nation in history. It is our responsibility as legislators, who took oaths to support the Constitution, to preserve an appreciation for these principles for our prosperity,” Colbeck concluded.