[Forced Patriotism] KSL.com is reporting on a bill in the works for the 2008 state legislative session that would require all public school classrooms to display the United States flag and a copy of the Declaration of Independence on site. The Deseret Morning News is reporting a fuller version of the story.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Allen Christensen (R-North Ogden), is listed on the Utah State Legislature Web site as "in process." That can mean various things, including going through legal review.
Unfortunately, there is no process for weeding out dumb, time-wasting bills (other than through House and Senate leadership, whose job it is to NOT waste taxpayer time and money by weeding out dumb bills before they ever reach committee). My brain is fairly musty with memories of going to public school in Utah, I remember every Utah public classroom I attended always had a U.S. flag on site.
As for the Declaration of Independence, what is that really supposed to teach a 10-year-old? If we're really going to mandate the exhibition of patriotic documents, it's the U.S. Constitution that ought to be handily available for every kid in the state. But then it is a radical document, filled with all sorts of threatening ideas. The First Amendment alone might teach the little rascals the power of a free mind, a free pen (or computer keyboard) and the freedom to protest and launch a petition against a governmental authority with which they disagree--our dumb Legislature, for instance. (Holly Mullen)