By Alex Baltzegar
Wednesday, the North Carolina House passed a bill requiring students at state universities to take a three-credit hour course on the U.S. Constitution and other founding documents by a vote of 69-47.
House Bill 96 (H.B. 96) passed the state House, with all Republicans and two Democrats voting in favor of the bill. The two Democrats in support were Shelly Willingham, D-Edgecombe, and Rep. Joe John, D-Wake.
Rep. Frances Jackson, D-Cumberland, sponsored the bill. However, Jackson voted ‘No’ on the floor.
Still, assuming the four missing Republicans would support the bill, H.B. 96 would have enough support to override a Governor Cooper veto if he chooses to do so.
All students attending a college in the UNC System or Community College System would be required to take a three-credit-hour class on American government. The class would require students to read the following documents in their entirety:
Declaration of Independence
Federalist Papers (five essays)
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail
Students would also need to pass a final exam on these “founding documents, their historical context, and authors’ perspectives.”
Currently, UNC-Chapel Hill requires three-credit-hour courses in “Global Understanding” and “Power, Difference, & Inequality,” but not in American government.
UNC-Chapel Hill also teaches courses on “Comparative Queer Politics,” “Gender and Sexuality in Africa,” “Islam and Sexual Diversity,” “Animals in Japanese Religion,” “Global Whiteness,” and many similar courses.
Jameson Broggi, a U.S. Marine and attorney stationed at Air Station Cherry Point, has been a lead advocate on this bill. Broggi advocated for the South Carolina legislature to pass similar legislation. Governor Henry McMaster, R-SC, signed S.C. Senate Bill 38 into law.
On the House floor, several Democrats rose to speak against the bill. Democratic Minority Leader Robert Reives said he supports the concept of teaching civics but opposes the bill because he does not think it should be required in community college.
Broggi refutes this critique, arguing, “all associate degree programs at the community colleges require general education requirements—even strict programs such as an applied associate degree in engineering.”
Certain students may be eligible to “place out” of the requirement under the bill, including those who have passed an Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam.
The Board of Governors would have the ability to remove the chancellor of a university, and the State Board of Community Colleges may remove the president of a community college if their school fails to comply with the course requirement.
One current UNC law student, Charles DeLoach, who focuses his studies on constitutional law, said he thinks H.B. 96 is a good idea. In addition to law school, DeLoach has been active in Democratic politics.
UNC-Chapel Hill faculty were recently “flabbergasted” by the decision of the UNC Board of Trustees to establish the ‘School of Civic Life and Leadership’ (SCiLL).
Establishing SCiLL at UNC is an effort to “create a space for free speech, a culture of civic and open inquiry, in which we as a university and faculty members and other students would recognize members of political outgroups as friends to learn from rather than foes to vanquish,” Dave Boliek, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, said.
Given H.B. 96’s bipartisan support in the House, its fate lies in the state Senate. The bill only needs to gain Republican backing in the Senate to pass with a veto-proof margin.
How about a Constitution class for ALL North Carolinians? The vast number of people complaining about censorship of their 1A rights by social media companies represents an appalling lack of understanding.
Agreed! And let’s start with the members of the General Assembly, particularly HB 96 sponsor Rep. Keith Kidwell who, among others in our NCGA, are so inept at understanding the constitutional underpinnings of our nation that he is an enrolled member of the Oath Keepers terrorist group. This is the same organization that has long used violence and intimidation to attempt to overcome the democratic mechanisms of government and we’re leaders in the Jan 6 insurrectionist attack on the Capital.
Education on the Constitution should start in middle schools
It does, Captain Obvious
These people just want to tell people what to do. They should take the stupid class
Apparently those classes are already full at UNC CH they are the diversity and propaganda classes currently being taught. Why do you oppose people learning about the founding documents of this country? Only upon reading them can you truly understand them.
Awesome! Great bill, every American should read these documents in their entirety so they know their rights and where they come from (hint it’s not the government).
Finally!! Something of REAL value to our citizens AND the students that take these courses!! Hopefully, this will reignite patriotism and pride in our “GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH”, the good ‘ole USofA!! Totally support this at every level!!
Republicans, don’t mandate a class unless you are prepared to pay for it with your money. College classes cost big bucks. You have screwed up K-12 enough, leave colleges alone.
I’d rather pay for this class than the diversity crap currently being taught. Better question is why do people oppose others learning this information?
@Jen R, so what you’re saying is you want a choice. Mandating a college course is not a choice. It’s a dictatorship.
No what I’m saying is if as taxpayers we have to pay for the diversity crap then I’m glad we are also paying for the founding documents to be taught. Many college courses are mandated and learning about our founding documents is a much better course to be mandated than the bs diversity crap!
Again Jen you’re in outer space. I have no problem with a class on the constitution as long as it an elective class, like many of the classes your complaining about are. We do not live in a Dictatorship society we all have the right to choose that’s what the constitution that I defended is about.
The fact they even allow such garbage and parents allow their children to take such propaganda at UNC is what is truly “baffling”, absurd, and gross.
To late with that bill. 30 years ago would have been better. It’s hard to do the people’s work when it’s just about yourself.
So they want to take away some things people want to read and force people to read the constitution. So much for our freedoms that I defended this country for. Sounds like the Communist Republican Tyrant Dictatorship it is.
Who wants to read about graphic LGBT smut to kids? You?
Why do you have issue with people reading our founding documents? As a former service member you should be thrilled others want to understand the constitution which you took an oath to uphold and defend.
As a former service member I defended the constitution for all !! not just the people I agreed with but also for those I didn’t. The constitution applies to everyone. Unfortunately our elected IDOITS no longer believe it does. They believe it only applies to those that they can pander to to get re-elected.
Thank you NC House. The founding document for the most prosperous and diverse nation in the world needs to be honored. It’s time to stop the anti-American tyranny one political party seems to be paid to promote. Patrick Henry said it best.
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