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Introduced Version House Bill 2867 History

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hb2867 intr
H. B. 2867


(By Delegates Armstead, Lane, Overington,

Sumner and Sobonya)

[Introduced March 4, 2005; referred to the

Committee on Education then Finance.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §18-2-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to required courses of school instruction generally; instituting a "Celebrate Freedom Week"; and requiring an in-depth instruction in the study of the Declaration of Independence and other founding American historical documents including the Bill of Rights.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §18-2-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.

§18-2-9. Required courses of instruction; violation and penalty.

(a) In all public, private, parochial and denominational schools located within this state there shall be given prior to the completion of the eighth grade at least one year of instruction in the history of the State of West Virginia. Such These schools
shall require regular courses of instruction, by the completion of the twelfth grade in the history of the United States, in civics, the Constitution of the United States and in the government of the State of West Virginia for the purpose of teaching, fostering and perpetuating the ideals, principles and spirit of political and economic democracy in America and increasing the knowledge of the organization and machinery of the government of the United States and of the State of West Virginia. The State Board of Education shall, with the advice of the state superintendent of schools, prescribe the courses of study covering these subjects for the public schools. It shall be the duty of the officials or boards having authority over the respective private, parochial and denominational schools to prescribe courses of study for the schools under their control and supervision similar to those required for the public schools. To further such study, every high school student eligible by age for voter registration shall be afforded the opportunity to register to vote pursuant to section twenty-two, article two, chapter three of this code.
(b) In order to educate students about the sacrifices made for freedom in the founding of this country and the values on which this country was founded, a full week of classes in September, during the week in which the eleventh of September occurs, shall be recognized in all public schools located within this state as "Celebrate Freedom Week." Celebrate Freedom Week must include at
least three hours of appropriate instruction, which instruction must include an in-depth study of the intent, meaning and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States with an emphasis on the Bill of Rights, using the historical, political and social environments surrounding each document at the time of its initial passage or ratification and shall include the study of historical documents leading to the establishment of the provisions of the Constitution and Bill of Rights by the founding fathers for the purposes of safeguarding our constitutional republic.
(b) (c) The State Board of Education shall cause to be taught in all of the public schools of this state the subject of health education, including instruction in any of the grades six through twelve as deemed considered appropriate by the county board, on: (1) The prevention, transmission and spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases; and (2) substance abuse, including the nature of alcoholic drinks and narcotics, tobacco products, and other potentially harmful drugs, with special instruction as to their effect upon the human system and upon society in general. The course curriculum requirements and materials for such instruction shall be adopted by the State Board by rule in consultation with the department Division of Health.

An opportunity shall be afforded to the parent or guardian of
a child subject to instruction in the prevention, transmission and spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases to examine the course curriculum requirements and materials to be used in such instruction. The parent or guardian may exempt such child from participation in such instruction by giving notice to that effect in writing to the school principal.
(c) (d) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not exceeding ten dollars for each violation, and each week during which there is a violation shall constitute constitutes a separate offense. If the person so convicted occupy occupies a position in connection with the public schools, that person shall automatically be removed from such that position and shall be is ineligible for reappointment to that or a similar position for the period of one year.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to institute a "Celebrate Freedom Week" and require the instruction in the study of the Declaration of Independence and other founding American historical documents, including the Bill of Rights, during this week.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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