Residents Back Measure to Require Civics in Public Schools

State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell answers questions during a Monday night forum at the Universalist-Unitarian Church, Haverhill.

About 40 people expressed interest Monday night in a bill to encourage public school students to better understand how government works and encourage greater voter turnout, among other aims.

State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, the House sponsor of the bill which is up for hearings today at the State House, outlined what her legislation would do and how it would benefit communities. The forum was organized by the League of Women Voters of Greater Haverhill and took place at the Universalist-Unitarian Church.

Campbell’s bill, sponsored in the state Senate by Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, would require students to undertake two “rigorous civics projects” as a graduation requirement, provide money for a Civics Projects Fund, establish the Edward M. Kennedy Civics Challenge to allow eighth graders to voluntarily take the citizenship test and create a high school voter challenge. The high school effort aims to have students help register and pre-register their peers to vote.

A fact sheet presented at the forum noted “fewer than one in five young people voted in the 2014 midterm election, and among youth who did not complete high school, just 8 percent voted.”

Among those speaking in favor of the legislation was Mayor James J. Fiorentini and City Councilor Andy Vargas.

If the legislation clears both houses of the state legislature and receives Gov. Charlie Baker’s signature, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education would draft regulations for school districts to follow. The education department would also identify outside institutions to help train teachers.

3 thoughts on “Residents Back Measure to Require Civics in Public Schools

  1. the writer of the comment obviously does not understand that the state legislative mandate to provide for a system of public schools is found in the state constitution, usually in language requiring a “general,” “uniform,” “thorough,” or “efficient” system of public schools.

    Power officially resides with the states, concerns about efficiency and local involvement are addressed through the delegation of authority from the legislative branch to the local school board. All fifty states except Hawaii have this two-tiered governance structure and provide for local school districts governed by a board (called DESE in MA). The legislature is called upon to assist and to help in the funding of the programs deemed essential. At least 38 people in that room see and understand this and know the needs that we have for our students. To single out two or three officials to attack for some other reason is not relevant to this space or this article.

    Read more: School Boards – RESPONSIBILITIES DUTIES DECISION-MAKING AND LEGAL BASIS FOR SCHOOL BOARD POWERS – Education, Public, System, and National –

    • Jean, by “writer of the comment” I’m assuming you are referring to the comment I made below.

      Please tell me how providing specific examples of liberal politician’s civic performance of the job they were elected to isn’t relevant? My comment is the very essence of civic involvement. Thanks to WHAV citizens have a platform to voice our observations and opinions. To point out behavior and actions relating to civic duty and responsibility of the politicians who felt it was so important to publicly support this legislation isn’t just relevant, it’s extremely important. You’re not saying that these elected officials shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions, are you Jean? To point out their outright hypocrisy and lies is irrelevant? Why is that?

      This is Massachusetts where hardcore liberals like Campbell, failurentini and Vargas can say one thing, and then do the opposite. That’s a lesson in civics students aren’t going to learn in any classroom.

      If I really wanted to attack someone relating to their individual opinions of civics in the United States I would have mentioned by name the Haverhill High School teacher who is a committed communist, and the overwhelming number of far left liberal teachers who go out of their way to preach socialism in the classroom, and bash anything to do with conservatism in this country.

  2. Government “legislated” and “mandated” instruction on civics and government in a democratically elected republic. Oh, the irony!!

    This legislation goes against the very founding principals of liberty and freedom within our society and form of government. The concept of people being free to make their own decisions/choices should be the goal. An oppressive government “requiring” students to undertake two “rigorous civics projects” is as anit-American as it gets. This pure liberal indoctrination.

    Civics and the government is on display every day in Haverhill. Why not just have students read WHAV daily to see how “government” in Haverhill, in the way of its elected officials, is completely ignoring it’s civic duty?

    Just look at the cast of characters in support of more government being forced down the throats of Americans.
    Are these hardcore liberals going to use their own personal examples of civic responsibility for students to learn from?
    Will Linda Dean Campbell talk about how as a female State Legislator, and Co-Chairman of the State Legislature’s Committee on Public Safety she completely ignored her civic duty to speak out or do anything when a teenage girl was dragged into the woods in a Haverhill city park and raped by two criminal trespassers in the country illegally? Will she talk about how instead of protecting women in Haverhill she filed legislation to protect dogs and cats while they are housed at MSPCAs in Massachusetts? Now that’s a great lesson on competing civics decision making if there ever was one.

    Is the mayor failurentini going to explain how he constantly ignores his elected civic duty to protect the citizens of Haverhill when he does everything he can to welcome criminal trespassers in this country illegally to come to Haverhill?

    And then there’s Acorn Andy Vargas. Andy just revealed publicly that he is an Anchor Baby as a result of his parents entering the United States illegally many years ago. Andy also recently took to social media recently to inform criminal trespassers from other countries in Haverhill illegally to seek safe haven as the Federal Government and ICE was in the city doing its job. Now there’s another great civics lesson on a traitorous, elected government official completely ignoring his civic responsibility.