First Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 970151.01 JAP
SENATE BILL 97019
STATE OF COLORADO
BY SENATOR Duke
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING THE DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE TEACHING
OF UNITED STATES HISTORY AND CIVIL GOVERNMENT.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments which may be subsequently
Recognizes the importance of teaching students American
history. Specifies documents that public schools must teach students
when teaching the history and civil government of the United States.
Requires schools to teach the specified documents in the light
most favorable to each document's author.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. 221104, Colorado Revised Statutes, 1995 Repl. Vol., is amended to read:
221104. Teaching of history, culture, and civil government. (1) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEREBY FINDS THAT THE UNITED STATES IS THE GREATEST CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY IN WORLD HISTORY AND THAT, AS ITS CITIZENS, WE HAVE IN THE PAST ENJOYED THE GREATEST FREEDOMS AND PROTECTIONS FOR OUR HUMAN RIGHTS THAT HAVE EVER BEEN GUARANTEED TO THE CITIZENS OF ANY COUNTRY. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FURTHER FINDS THAT, DUE TO THE ABSENCE OF PROPER CONSIDERATION OF AND INSTRUCTION IN THE INTENTIONS AND PURPOSES OF THIS COUNTRY'S FOUNDERS, WE HAVE DEVIATED FAR FROM THOSE ORIGINAL INTENTIONS AND PURPOSES AND NOW RISK LOSING COMPLETELY THOSE FREEDOMS AND PROTECTIONS ORIGINALLY GUARANTEED. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THEREFORE CONCLUDES THAT, IN ORDER TO RESTORE OUR FREEDOMS AND PROTECTIONS AND TO ENSURE A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF OUR COUNTRY'S PRINCIPLES AND A LASTING PRIDE IN OUR HERITAGE, STUDENTS SHOULD STUDY AND UNDERSTAND THE WRITINGS AND ACTIONS OF THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR, FOUNDED, AND NURTURED THIS COUNTRY. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEREBY DECLARES THAT DEVELOPING IN STUDENTS AN UNDERSTANDING OF AND APPRECIATION FOR THE COURAGE, DEDICATION, INTELLIGENCE, AND FORESIGHT SHOWN BY THE GREAT FIGURES OF AMERICAN HISTORY WILL EMPOWER STUDENTS TO EMULATE THESE QUALITIES AND WILL PROVIDE ROLE MODELS FOR THEM TO FOLLOW IN THEIR PRIVATE AND CIVIC LIVES. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THEREFORE DECLARES THAT THE SUBJECTS AND DOCUMENTS SPECIFIED IN THIS SECTION ARE CRITICAL TO THE EDUCATION OF THE STUDENTS IN THIS STATE.
(1) (2) The
history and civil government of the state of Colorado shall be
taught in all the public schools of this state.
(2) (3) (a) In
addition, the history and civil government of the United States,
including the history, culture, and contributions of minorities,
including, but not limited to, the Spanish Americans and the American
Negroes, shall be taught in all the public schools of the state.
(b) IN THE PROCESS OF TEACHING THE HISTORY AND CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES, ALL STUDENTS SHALL BE TAUGHT, AT A MINIMUM, THE FOLLOWING:
(I) THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE;
(II) THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, INCLUDING THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENTS;
(III) THE FEDERALIST PAPERS AND THE ANTIFEDERALIST PAPERS;
(IV) THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION;
(V) THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS; AND
(VI) GEORGE WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS.
(c) IN TEACHING THE WRITINGS SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPH (b) OF THIS SUBSECTION (3), TEACHERS SHALL PRESENT EACH WRITING, INCLUDING THE AUTHOR OF AND CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE WRITING, IN THE LIGHT MOST FAVORABLE TO ITS AUTHOR.
SECTION 2. Effective date. This act shall take effect July 1, 1997.
SECTION 3. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.