OPED: We must teach next generation U.S. civics

Warren C. Bulette
Spring Garden

Our high schools are not adequately educating our graduates on how to defend, protect and preserve our beloved, exceptional republic — the United States of America. Unless this situation is corrected, our self-governing nation will eventually evolve into dependency and socialism with far less freedom and opportunity to achieve the American dream. Our graduates need to also know how our government works so when they govern, it will be Constitutional.

History has taught us that real freedom and liberty only flourish if citizens:

  • Assume responsibility for their lives-- are not dependent on government
  • Are educated in the capitalistic free enterprise system
  • Honest
  • Hard working
  • Treat others the way they want to be treated
  • Willing to sacrifice and serve this republic
  • Obey the laws
  • Demand equal justice and religious freedom
  • Know their rights and how government works under the Constitution and vote intelligently
  • Hold elected officials accountable
  • Tolerant
  • Vigilant

We must save our beloved republic before it is too late!

In other words, if our exceptional republic is to survive, an involved virtuous and educated citizenry must commit to these principles in generation after generation. God forbid that our generation drops the ball and dishonors the 1.2 million patriots who have made the ultimate sacrifice, since 1775, so we can enjoy freedom and pursue happiness.

Our generation must equip our children to keep this great nation by teaching them how to self-govern. Shouldn't this subject be the most important in the curriculum?

Now is the time to require successful completion of a high school semester course that teaches the Founding principles and the shaping of our nation's ideals contained in 50 core documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers and the Constitution. Sadly, many colleges and universities don't teach these principles and ideals in depth — even for American history majors.

Teacher training, lesson plans and teaching aides are readily available at minimal cost from such organizations as Hillsdale College, the Bill of Rights Institute, Ashbrook Center, Intercollegiate Studies

Institute and Claremont Institute — to name a few. Digital learning is being used by these organizations to make them more accessible.

Thus, high schools don't have to incur a lot of cost to reinvent the wheel.

Let it be said by historians that our generation did not fail to educate the next generation to defend, protect and preserve our exceptional republic. Our graduates must be able to sustain this nation as the bastion of freedom in the world — whether as future elected officials or involved citizens.

— Warren C. Bulette is a Spring Garden resident who regularly contributes to The York Dispatch.