Rhode Island Students Do Their Homework, Sue State Over Lack of Civics Education

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A group of Rhode Island students who have done out-of-class homework are trying to get the court system to rule they have a right to receive a well-rounded education that includes civics.

Patriot Week Foundation reports the students filed the class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island on November 28, 2018, against Gina Raimondo, governor of Rhode Island, and Rhode Island state representatives for an alleged failure to ensure they receive a good civics education. The students want a declaratory judgement about their rights. The Rhode Island Supreme Court twice refused to hear similar suits.

Thomas Goers of Patriot Week Foundation commends the students for taking the initiative, but questions the ability of the judicial system, under the U.S. Constitution, to make the change the students are seeking. Goers, however, says a federal lawsuit could bring the national attention needed to make a change.

CNN says of the lawsuit that Aleita Cook, age 17 and one of the 14 plaintiffs, told The New York Times that she never took any classes in government, civics or economics.

Also, Rhode Island has no civics requirement, no civics teachers training, and no state testing of civics, according to attorney Michael Rebell.

According to CNN:

“While I cannot comment on the specifics of pending litigation, I am supportive of efforts to secure more legal protections for student access to a quality education. Education rights are civil rights,” Rhode Island Commissioner Ken Wagner said in a statement.

The lawsuit documentation is available here.

In March of this year, Rhode Island officials responded that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a fundamental right to an education, the Providence Journal reported. The state asks that the lawsuit be dismissed.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.

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2 Thoughts to “Rhode Island Students Do Their Homework, Sue State Over Lack of Civics Education”

  1. Dixie Lee McClellan

    Makes your blood run cold, doesn’t it.

  2. Noxville

    More communist goals, excerpted from the 1958 book, “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen:

    17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

    18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

    28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”

    29. Discredit the America Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

    30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”

    31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

    32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture – education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

    41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

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