Students across America are being taught that the United States Constitution, the supreme law of the land, is an outdated, out-of-touch, and useless document for contemporary times. With an age of more than 230 years, students are being encouraged to question the Constitution’s legitimacy and its relevance to Americans today. While our Founding Fathers have come under attack by those who lack respect for our country, the cornerstones of America’s foundation are being chipped away, and it is only a matter of time before those being taught to do so take their agenda to the voting booth or come to hold powerful positions themselves.
Beginning with PBS Learning is their lesson ‘Should We Rewrite Our Constitution? America From Scratch’ recommended for grades 6 through 12. The lesson immediately teaches students that most constitutions around the world last only about twelve to seventeen years, but the United States Constitution has lasted more than 200 years, suggesting to some that a rewrite is long overdue. A video created for the lesson immediately dives into Iceland, which recently “reformed” their constitution.
Silja Bara Omarsdottir, a professor of political science at the University of Iceland, explained that Iceland’s constitution was questioned in part because of economic difficulties. Omarsdottir said, “in 2008, Iceland had a financial collapse and a lot of people suggested that the problems that we had, as a society, would have been avoided if we’d had a more modern constitution.” Although Iceland’s new constitution was not officially adopted, according to PBS, Omarsdottir said the conversation led to “a lot of good policy ideas.” She also shared that having the conversation gave Iceland the chance to debate what it is that they want to be and what their values are as a society, and it reminded the people that issues they have can be fixed. Thus, the host of the video asks American students, “So what would it be like if we decided to follow the example of Iceland? What ideas would you fight for, to include in a new constitution and what elements would you leave behind?”
The Zinn Education Project takes the opportunity when it comes time to teach students about the U.S. Constitution to mock it along with founding father James Madison and even Christianity. “Most U.S. history and government textbooks present the Constitution as a kind of secular Ten Commandments: James Madison brought the document from the mountain and it was Good,” writes the Zinn Education Project in their lesson synopsis. The Zinn Education Project refers to the U.S. Constitution as a document “elevated to an almost holy status” and gives it the nickname of “Constitution-as-religious-icon” as they try to grow concerns that there is not much “wiggle room.” Ironically, the Zinn Education Project suggests that learning the Constitution, including its famous words and ideas, is “indoctrination, not education.”
Learning For Justice, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center and formerly known as Teaching Tolerance, has a lesson with problematic wording as it suggests to students that the U.S. Constitution still protects slavery. Although the lesson is one of a series on the teaching of slavery, wording questions regarding the U.S. Constitution from the time of its birth in the present tense could send a subliminal message to young thinkers. For example, the question “How does the Constitution directly protect the institution of slavery?” would be written more appropriately in the past tense. This may sound trivial, but word choices are critical in teaching students, especially on topics that may pose more challenges due to their complexity, such as interpreting the language of the U.S. Constitution. In some instances, history lessons may be written in the present tense as teachers try to allow students to “explore” history in what seems like real time, but this method of teaching, especially when it comes to such complex history, is not ideal for comprehension.
The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times, and the authority to amend the Constitution rests within Article V which outlines two paths for making changes. The White House describes the process as follows: “An amendment may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress, or, if two-thirds of the States request one, by a convention called for that purpose. The amendment must then be ratified by three-fourths of the State legislatures, or three-fourths of conventions called in each State for ratification.”
Learning the U.S. Constitution is a critical moment in the course of a student’s educational career. The lessons students learn in school about the U.S. Constitution and America’s founding are molded by the texts they read, the questions they answer, the activities they do, and the discussions they have, all of which are determined by the teacher. While the Zinn Education Project or PBS Learning may not be listed in a school’s “curriculum,” most teachers can use any of these resources to build a lesson in their unit. The danger of these lessons is not only the heavy radical leftist bias, but the excellency in the development of a cohesive, impressive, and up-to-standard lesson that can convince even the most conservative teacher to use it for a formal observation if they seek an outstanding evaluation.
The U.S. Constitution is a complex document, especially for young readers and young thinkers. On top of containing difficult language, the U.S. Constitution contains the foundations upon which our government was formed and how it works. One of the things that students can be guaranteed to take away after having learned about the U.S. Constitution is that it is a document that protects our inalienable rights. At least, this is something students used to be guaranteed to take away. Now, students are being taught to question even that most basic feature of the Constitution.
With lessons like the ones referenced here, the main takeaways that students will remember after learning about the Constitution is that it is a document that can be changed, and probably should be changed because of its age among other reasons. A teenager is not going to rewrite the U.S. Constitution, but what happens years from now, when that teenager becomes a Senator? What happens when that teenager teaches the next generation of voters? What happens when those who respect the U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of the land believing in its strict interpretation hold no power or influence in any facet of American life? The United States of America is on the brink of a disastrous future if action is not taken now to counterbalance the enormous influence the radical left has over our youth with their aggressive agenda that undermines the values and founding of our great nation.