PATRIOTIC, CIVIC, AND CHARACTER EDUCATION
“The Legislature recognizes that a proper understanding of American history and government is essential to good citizenship, and that the public schools are the primary public institutions charged with responsibility for assisting children and youth in gaining that understanding.” Required curricula includes the study of historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence; the U.S. Constitution; the writings, speeches, documents, and proclamations of the Founders and the Presidents of the United States; Acts of Congress; and U.S. treaties. (Utah Code Ann. § 53A-13-101.4)
Civic and Character Education:
This is defined as the “cultivation of informed, responsible participation in political life by competent citizens committed to the fundamental values and principles of representative democracy in Utah and the United States.” A fundamental civic purpose and constitutional responsibility of public education requires civics and character education to be taught through an integrated curriculum in connection with regular school work, and consolidates requirements for the teaching of civic and character education. Listed as part of an integrated curriculum are honesty, temperance, morality, courtesy, obedience to law, respect for and an understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and the state of Utah, Utah history including territorial and pre-territorial development to the present, the essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for parents and home, and the dignity and necessity of honest labor and other skills, habits, and qualities of character which will promote and upright and desirable citizenry and better prepare students for a richer, happier life shall be taught in connection with regular school work. (Utah Code Ann. § 53A-13-109)
Education About the Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag Includes:
- History of the flag, etiquette, and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag, and other patriotic exercises;
- Role modeling patriotic values associated with the flag;
- School administration and teacher guidance and support in creating and maintaining a classroom atmosphere that is consistent with the principles described in R277-475-5C.
- Exemptions to civic education are outlines under Utah Rule.