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An Oath to support and defend our Constitution in educational facilities

Updated on May 17, 2013

Several states have either passed legislation or legislation is in-process to require schools take an oath to support and defend the Constitution. The Constitution is the law of the land and has been for years though some courts and Congress seem to fight about what is acceptable legislation and what is not. Supporting and defending the Constitution is most recognized through requirements that elected official especially in Congress recite an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

While this oath may have some concerns by individuals it is something for which all students should be involved. In some cases an oath to support and defend the Constitution applies to grades 1-12. Supporting and defending our Constitution is also something those entering the military take allegiance in accepting their responsibilities as a member of our military organization.

The question surrounding this type of oath brings some questions as to the need for our educational institutions to have such an oath with regards to supporting and defending our Constitution. The words supporting and defending our Constitution with regards to our educational institutions does not mean a physical act as our military but actions by words and deeds. There needs to be more examples of our educational institutions/facilities supporting and defending our Constitution. Our educational institutions today teach history but in so doing studying our Constitution should be an integral part of our history as it impacts us every day. I understand that in some educational facilities teachers may or have instilled their own interpretation of what each part of the Constitution represents. It is acceptable to have an opinion regarding various aspects of our Constitution coming from a teacher/instructor but it must be made clear that it is an opinion.

Over the years our Constitution has been amended over 20 times which makes the Constitution a living document for change. Granted the conditions in place when it was first written are different than they are now. This however does not mean the structure and meaning of the words have any less significance on the culture of our country. Details of the Constitution identify that states have specific authority and responsibilities and there is a separation between a central government and a state government. Taking an oath of supporting and defending the Constitution also involves supporting and defending the rights of states as defined in the Constitution.

We as individuals take or have taken many oaths regarding various activities with which we are involved and each time we take an oath we need to be serious about our commitment. Some examples include being sworn in as a juror for a trial, being sworn in when entering the military and being sworn in to elected office. Taking an oath is an important event in our lives as it is an example of our commitment with which an oath is associated.

Activities of individuals and groups today profess their opinions regarding issues in which they feel deeply. Some efforts by some media have taken the approach that opinions of certain groups or individuals have no basis or are out of step with reality. The action in fact in many cases if not all is an act of supporting and defending the Constitution. I agree with the right of the media to report news events as written in the Constitution but their actions needs to support and defend the Constitution and not distort the facts.

We as citizens and voters need to have the resolve to support and defend our Constitution by whatever means we have available to us. Those of us who are writers are writers have the responsibility to support and defend the Constitution in conjunction with the topics on which we write. The impact of the action taken or being taken by State legislatures in initiating this oath requirement may bring about leaders of tomorrow who will support and defend the Constitution. Having an oath to support and defend the Constitution within our educational system is the right place to start a movement to honor the requirements of the Constitution.


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