By Senator Bryant Richardson
Senate Bill 206, Comparative Political Ideology Instruction, will be heard in the Senate Education Committee Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.
I am the author of the bill that states that instruction must include a discussion of political ideologies, including communism and totalitarianism, which conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.
Senators Gerald Hocker, Brian Pettyjohn and Dave Lawson have signed on as co-sponsors. Representative Rich Collins is the prime sponsor in the House.
To listen to the hearing and, more importantly, to speak on the issue, go to legis.delaware.gov. Under the ‘What’s Happening’ calendar, scroll down to the Senate Education Committee.
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Under SB 206, a school district or charter school serving high school students shall provide instruction in comparative political ideology in the 10th grade. The instruction may be provided through an existing course that meets state standards or a curriculum developed or identified by the school district or charter school.
The curriculum must be designed to do all of the following:
- Explore various political ideologies, including communism and totalitarianism.
- Highlight the conflict other political ideologies have with the founding principles of the United States.
- Prepare students to be responsible citizens in a free democracy.
- Develop a recognition of and acceptance for the responsibility for preserving and defending the blessings of liberty inherited from prior generations and secured by the United States Constitution.
- Reaffirm the commitment to freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.
Senate Bill 206 instructs the Dept. of Education to curate and make publicly available oral history resources.
These resources would include the personal stories of victims of other nations’ governing philosophies who can compare those philosophies with those of the United States. The Department would also develop and make publicly available a list of resources to assist a school district or charter school in creating the required instruction. The implementation of this Act is delayed until the 2023 through 2024 school year to give school districts and charter schools time to develop the instruction required under this Act and the Department time to curate and provide the required oral history resources.
The protection of the rights and responsibilities of citizens depends on an accurate knowledge of the benefits of living under our Constitution. Our state benefits from citizens who understand the importance of working together to ‘form a more perfect union’.