The Florida "Celebrate Freedom Week" Bill
March 21, 2002
Florida's legislature has just overwhelmingly passed the "Celebrate Freedom Week" bill, and it is expected that Governor Jeb Bush will sign it. The bill's authors, Sen. Charlie Clary and Rep. Jerry Melvin, are requiring FLA public schools, in the last week of September, to include recitation of a portion of the Declaration of Independence, starting with the words, "We hold these truths ..." and it will further mandate "at least 3 hours of appropriate instruction in each social studies class, as determined by each school district, which instruction shall include an in-depth study of the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence."
This is the second successful effort to pass such legislation. Rep. Rick Green of Texas carried the first, and the Florida legislation was closely modeled on Rep. Green's Texas version. The importance of these two victories can hardly be overstated. Between them, the two states include one over every seven children in America!
Ambassador Keyes and the Declaration Foundation
worked closely with the legislators in both states, speaking and writing on behalf of the concept, and discussing it here at the DF forum. But the heroes of the day are Clary, Melvin, and DF activist Bill Dillon. Dillon is a veteran of such campaigns, having worked hard to pass the NJ legislation authored by Sen. Cardinale. NJ failed to pass its bill by just one vote last year.
The next stage of the "Declarationist Offensive" will be to ensure that the supplementary curricular materials do an honest and exciting job of presenting America's Principles, and that the teachers are supported in their efforts to transmit our precious heritage. We at the Declaration Foundation are already making plans to help out in this long term project. Our Civics textbook, already available for download here, and also in spiral bound hard copy, is only a part of what we can do. But we'll need your support to cover the costs of writing and disseminating first class curricula.
So I'm asking you to give what you can to further the work of the Foundation. You can click here
to make a donation, or send a check by mail to: Declaration Foundation, 721 R 2nd Street, N.E., Washington D.C. 20002.
Expect an update from similar efforts in other states. Better still, start one in yours, if it's not underway already.
For our Rights, as a gift of the Creator!
Dr. Richard Ferrier
President, Declaration Foundation