September 3, 2009

Constitution - September 17th

In this day and age, our students are witnessing massive changes in our country, perhaps even larger than they (or we) can comprehend.

On September 17, Constitution Day, schools receiving federal funds are required to integrate the Constitution into their lessons. The day offers an opportunity for all of us to teach students something about the Constitution, the document that unites us as Americans across our various political views. Taking some time to discuss the Constitution in your classroom can help students make sense of this unique historical moment by connecting the rights it protects to current issues like domestic spying, preventive detention, and the expansion of executive power.

Because it implicates so many subjects, the Constitution can be an apt subject for a lesson plan regardless of what you teach, or at what level. The Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) has compiled and developed a series of resources to make it easier for teachers to bring these issues into their classrooms. Additionally, BORDC has grassroots volunteers in a variety of locations available to serve as guest lecturers.

Please consider a lesson focused on the Constitution and its current relevance on September 17. Several lesson plans are available online. Feel free to use them in any way you wish, and please share feedback on your students' experiences.

Finally, please contact Emma Roderick at BORDC if you're interested in (a) inviting a BORDC guest lecturer to visit your class, (b) helping compile lesson plans or other curricular materials about current constitutional issues, or (c) working with other volunteers to draft a report about troubling and pervasive security measures in schools. In your email, please include your school's zip code and a phone number where we can reach you.

Thank you for your invaluable work preparing our nation's future leaders.


Flavia Alaya, Bridgeton, NJ
Barbara Ehrentreu, North White Plains, NY
Elizabeth Hanson, Lake Forest Park, WA
Meagan Magrath, Springfield, MA
Bradley Olson, Evanston, IL

and other members of the BORDC Educators Team

P.S. Feel free to share this email with your colleagues, both at your school and in other schools.

Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Address: 8 Bridge Street, Suite A, Northampton, MA 01060
Telephone: 413-582-0110
Fax: 413-582-0116

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