Every new poll or survey about civics and the U.S. Constitution seems to bring with it alarming news.
- Earlier this summer a Time magazine poll found that 45 percent of Americans believe search and seizure without a warrant should be permitted.
- Last year a survey on civic literacy found that nearly a third of New York residents "believe the Founders were seeking to create a Christian nation as they drafted the Constitution."
- In 2004, a national survey of 12,000 students, headed by two UConn professors for the Knight Foundation, found that a majority of high school students think the Bill of Rights "goes too far."
Every Sept. 17, Constitution Day provides an opportunity to counter the misunderstanding of and lack of appreciation for the supreme law of the United States of America. By act of Congress, every school in the land must have some program about the Constitution. To meet their obligation, many schools incorporate lessons into their social studies or civics curricula; others hold assemblies. To help with this effort, the ACLU of Connecticut trains speakers to talk to students about the Constitution.
This year Constitution Day falls on Saturday, so it will be observed mainly on Friday, Sept. 16. If your schedule permits you to share some time on or around then, please consider participating. We're providing several speaker orientation sessions around the state during the week of Sept. 5. The schedule is:
- Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m. at the Black Rock Branch Library, 2705 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport.
- Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. Universalist Church of West Hartford, Program Room, 433 Fern St., West Hartford.
- Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. Mansfield Municipal Building, Conference Room B, 4 South Eagleville Road, Storrs.
- Thursday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. Quinnipiac University School of Law, Room 317, 275 Mount Carmel Ave., Hamden.
- Thursday, Sept 8 at 7 p.m. Torrington Register-Citizen conference room, 59 Field St., Torrington CT.
You can sign up for one of these session by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know a high school principal or civics/social studies teacher, please phone her or him to urge that they look at this website for details, and urge them to participate.